How to Help Your Elderly Loved One Recover From a Stroke
Once your elderly loved one has survived a stroke, their care priorities change drastically. Maybe your dad or mom has lost mobility after being partially paralyzed, making your assistance a necessity instead of a choice.
Before the stroke, perhaps you were only needed for grocery shopping or house repairs. But after a stroke, your loved one needs more hands-on support.
They may need your help with household chores as well as personal care like grooming and bathing. And as you manage your own home and work, caring for an aging senior after they’ve had a stroke can quickly become a grueling task.
In this post, you’ll find some of the best ways to care for a stroke survivor.
How to Take Care of a Stroke Survivor?
In a healthy body, oxygen is delivered to the body’s cells by an uninterrupted blood flow. But during a stroke, the blood supply to the brain gets blocked temporarily. This shutdown causes major brain cells to die, leading to loss of control over muscle movements and memory.
After a stroke, the survivor may experience:
- Memory loss
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Paralysis to one side of the body
- Difficulty in speaking or complete loss of ability to speak
- Partial paralysis of the face
You’ll need to provide extensive care for your recovering loved one. Start by planning the logistics of their basic routines; how will you assist them with showering, dressing, bathroom breaks, eating, and other routine activities.
If your loved one has suffered complete or partial paralysis after a stroke, one caregiver won’t be enough to take care of them in the long-term. You’ll need to come up with a care plan that’s sustainable or you will burn-out too quickly. We recommend contacting a medical navigator to help you better manage your life and your loved one’s health.
Look Out for Signs of a Stroke
According to the National Stroke Association, every 1 in 4 stroke survivors suffer another stroke, usually within five years after the first. It’s essential to learn and recognize the symptoms and warning signs of another stroke, so you can seek treatment quickly.
If you notice your loved one experienced any of the following signs of another stroke, immediately call 911:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sudden severe headaches
- Sudden weakness or numbness in legs, arms, face, or one side of the body
- Sudden difficulty with understanding, memory, confusion, speaking, or judgment
- Sudden trouble with balance, coordination, or walking
- Sudden difficulty with vision in one or both eyes
If you’re wondering what causes a stroke, it could be either of two reasons: a bursting/leaking of a blood vessel or a blocked artery. It is highly recommended hiring a professional caregiver who is well-trained in making sure a second stroke doesn’t happen.
Lower the Chances of Another Hospital Visit
Once a stroke survivor gets discharged and returns home, the first month is critical. Studies show that 20 percent of discharged stroke victims end up back in the hospital within a month of being sent home.
Since seniors have a lower chance of recovery if re-hospitalized in this window, make sure you take every step possible to stabilize them.
Also, keep in mind that a stroke can lead to several physical changes in the patient; they may experience depression, anger, and anxiety. If you’re not equipped to deal with these intense emotions and don’t have a professional caregiver to assist you, the road to recovery can be daunting.
Magellan Medical Navigators are your South Florida health-keepers. We offer assistance with everything you need: from medical appointments and specialist care to transportation and family communications. Contact us online or call us today at 336-403-1595 to see how we can help.