Following on from a stroke and a period of hospitalization, the moment will come when your loved one is ready to come home. However, you and your family may not know how best to care for them and assist them on their road to recovery. Here are some tips to help you cope with the situation with equanimity.
Therapy And Exercise
Your loved one has likely experienced motor impairments after a stroke. While in hospital, they may have had the services of an occupational therapist, speech therapist, physiotherapist, or a combination of these. The role of these therapists is to teach the patient how to regain motor and language function that was lost due to the stroke. They will also prescribe exercises to be done daily by the patient.
Encourage your loved one to do the recommended exercises and take them to any appointments that are required.
Adjustments In The Home
The patient may require several adjustments to be made to the home environment to enable them to become independent again. This equipment may involve railing by stairs and in bathrooms as well as specially fitted chairs to enable them to shower. Additionally, walkers may be required.
Naturally, you want to do everything possible to assist the patient with tasks they cannot manage. However, if you jump in right away with activities they are slow with, you are impeding their rehabilitation. Let them try to feed and dress by themselves first if they are at all capable of this.
If the patient becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, or tearful, you should complete the task for them. But keep encouraging their attempts as long as this is helpful. Be mindful of their safety, however, and take precautions to avoid falls or other injuries. There are some incredible in home care services for seniors that can help when the primary caregiver may need respite, or as a part of the patient’s routine to encourage further recovery; whilst still giving them independence in their home.
Side Effects Of Medication
A quarter or more of stroke victims experience a second stroke months after the first. The doctor would have prescribed medicine to reduce this risk.
Both stroke medications and a pending second stroke can cause symptoms. Monitor your loved one for any side effects and speak to their doctor to know what to look out for. Don’t add any supplements to the approved medications without the doctor’s approval.
Stroke survivors may battle with depression, anger at being robbed of their mobility and independence, or despondency. This is normal in the recovery phase and victims sometimes reach a plateau after three months where no more improvement is noticeable.
Remain sympathetic but confident that they will soon start seeing gains. Remind them that their exercises are the most important thing they should stick to for a full recovery.
When The Family Cannot Cope
Caring for someone after a stroke can lead to exhaustion and stress in family members. Give yourselves a break by taking turns to assist your loved one and seeing to it that the responsibility doesn’t fall on one person.