Getting ready to go home from hospital and rehab after suffering from a stroke, requires preparation and planning. The knowledge of how the brain recovers after suffering a stroke is very limited. Some brain cells may only be temporarily damaged and not destroyed and may resume functioning. In some cases the brain compensates for the damaged cells and re-organizes the functioning.
Recovery will vary with each individual. Many will make a complete recovery and others may be left with disabilities or difficulties. The more severe the stroke generally the longer is will take for recovery. Recovering from a stroke is a gradual process that takes the brain time to heal and this begins the rehabilitation process.
Once you are home bound you may need help with the following activities:
- Bathing, dressing and grooming
- Standing, walking, balance and mobility
- Preparing meals
- Use of one side of the body, arm, hand, leg
- Speech and communication
- Safe swallowing
- Cognitive skills i.e. comprehension, memory, thought process, logic & reasoning, visual processing
Common Physical Problems Following a Stroke:
- Judgment difficulty with depth and distance
- Weakness, balance and fatigue
- Coordination and movement
- Vision clarity
- Facial drooping
- Numbness and painful sensation
Due to the brain damage caused by the stroke, eating and drinking may be difficult, as the muscles of chewing and swallowing may be weakened especially in the early stages. It is common to have a feeding tube in the early stages, to provide proper nutrition, fluids and medication. Generally the Speech Therapist will provide special swallowing therapy and advice to help with eating and drinking safely.
Some people may completely lose the ability to speak, but can still understand what is being said to them. The ability to read and spell and write may also be affected. When a person has problems understanding and using words and sentences which affect their ability to communicate this is called aphasia. Some of the common issues with aphasia are:
- Confusion with yes and no
- Saying one thing but meaning another
- Getting stuck on a word or phrase over and over
- Follow only a part of a conversation
- Easily distracted by noise
- Automatic swearing
- Slow to respond, needing more time to understand what has been said
- Words on the top of the tongue
- Speaking but not making much sense
Two of the most common psychological conditions found in people after a stroke are:
- Depression – crying and feeling of hopelessness, withdrawn from social activities
- Anxiety – fear and anxiety often punctuated by anxiety attack
Many may experience difficulty controlling their bladder or bowel commonly known as incontinence. For many this control will come back over time.
Dealing with the daily activities:
- Use memory aids like diaries and keep a list
- Practice physical and mental skills through crafts and board games
- Keep distractions when communicating
- Wear shoes with good support
- Rearrange the furniture to avoid accidents
- A stair lift may be needed for going up and down stairs
- A walking device or chair may be needed
Getting the support and help that you need:
After your stroke, you may need to get extra help around the house or with personal care. In-Home Care is a perfect solution to having as little or as much help as you need. Most people find that they need around the clock live-in care assistance and as they begin to recover and are able to do more for themselves they reduce the care to shorter hourly assistance.
Easy Living Services will send the appropriate skilled caregiver to provide exactly what you need help with. Our caregivers can help with bathing, dressing, grooming, assistance with toilet needs, meal preparation, grocery shopping, assistance to and from Doctor appointment and errands, medication reminders, light housekeeping, watering the plants, feeding and walking the family pet and so much more depending on each individual needs.
Today’s families have very busy lifestyles so many times family members what to help and in many cases try to help but generally it is only a matter of time before it all becomes overwhelming trying to juggle too many tasks at one time. For most just knowing that companies like ours are here when you need support and an extra set of caring hands make the recovery and rehabilitation process less stressful and smooth.
Should you or a loved one need help, call us today 770-442-8664!