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Stroke: Hesitant or Impulsive?

Topic Overview

Depending on which side of the brain was affected by a stroke, the way a person approaches tasks may be different than it was before the stroke.

Stroke on the left side of the brain

People who have had a stroke on the left side of the brain tend to be slow, cautious, and disorganized when they are doing unfamiliar activities. They appear anxious and hesitant, which is often quite different from the way they were before the stroke.

  • It may be helpful to offer reassurance or words of encouragement. But don't praise someone for imaginary progress.
  • Offer praise after each step in a task. Allow time for self-correction of mistakes. If the person cannot correct the mistake, point out the error and give a hint.

Stroke on the right side of the brain

People who have had a stroke on the right side of the brain tend to be impulsive and act too quickly. They may act as if they are unaware of their problems. They often try to do things that are beyond their abilities and that may be unsafe, such as trying to walk across a room without putting on a brace and then falling as a result.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
Last Revised January 3, 2013

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