The purpose of this study was to identify the major problems and associated feelings experienced by family caregivers of stroke survivors during the first month after returning home. Safety, difficulty in managing activities of daily living, and cognitive, behavioral and emotional changes of stroke survivors (for example, mood swings, lack of motivation, forgetfulness and memory loss, depression and calling the caregiver often) were the three most common problems experienced by caregivers during the first month. Other problems were loss of caregiver independence, confinement, tiredness and inadequate time to do caregiving tasks as well as managing stroke survivor physical symptoms, for example, pain, not eating and skin problems. The first month of caregiving is very dynamic and distressful for caregivers of stroke survivors and telephone contacts appear to be beneficial in assisting caregivers to cope with the caregiving process. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.