10 Tips for an Effective Stroke Recovery at Home
Although the risk of stroke is higher in senior adults, it can hit a person of any age. Statistics show that about 800k people suffer from stroke every year in the US. Many of these eventually get discharged from the hospital to go and continue the stroke recovery journey at home. Therefore, caregivers need to learn how best to look after their loved ones who have had a stroke.
At Senior Helpers Erie, we have carefully selected for you 10 tips that can make the stroke recovery process more fulfilling and exciting both for the patient and the caregiver.
1. Preparations before discharge
Let us start here before we can go any further. Before your loved ones leave the hospital, make sure you have the answers to questions pertaining to their care and medication. Inquire from the attending physicians about special requirements like medical equipment, prescriptions, diet, and other needs. You don't want to go home and start calling the doctor for clarifications that you could've asked earlier.
2. Start with the brain
Stroke predominantly affects the brain and how it works. However, the human brain is very powerful and is capable of rewiring itself after a stroke. What you teach the brain is what it will configure in its neurons. A book titled The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge can give more insights.
3. Exercise, exercise, exercise
Exercise is what will help to rewire the brain. Every neurosurgeon or stroke survivor will tell you that daily rehabilitation exercise is key to stroke recovery. Start small movements and aim to improve each day. One thing to be careful about is the learned nonuse. This is where a stroke patient stops using a part of their body that was affected. This leads the brain to flag it as a "nonuse" part.
4. Be keen on the environment
It's not surprising for stroke survivors to experience frequent falls due to imbalance and joint weakness. It's recommended to modify the home where the patient lives to reduce the risk of a fall. For instance, you can install grab bars, non-slip mats and declutter the space to minimize obstacles for your loved one to walk freely. In case of a fall, regardless of how harmless you think of it, seek a physician's attention for your loved one.
5. Be realistic
While maintaining the daily exercise routine is essential, trying to achieve supersonic progress within a very short time will do more harm than good. Use the 1% motivation formula — aim to improve by only 1% daily. Over time, you'll realize the results are outstanding. Also, rest is as important as the workout. When the body requests sleep, grant the request. Finally, caregivers should not try to do everything for the patient, as that will slow the stroke recovery.
6. Keep the patient information in one place
All records, including the discharge sheet for the patient, should be kept organized and in one place or folder. This can come in handy during an emergency when the primary caregiver is not around. Else, you don't want to test your memorizing power with such odds.
7. Check the diet
Stroke patients are generally at high risk of developing a second stroke. Diet is one thing that can raise this risk. Excess fats and sugar are some of the foods to avoid. Be on the lookout also for vitamin supplements and give the patient those only prescribed by a doctor.
8. Concentrate on long-term goals
It's not uncommon for a stroke patient to appear as if they're taking steps back in some days. One particular example is the plateau experienced after three months. When you or your loved one experiences such, don't think that the recovery is stopping altogether — it's the brain stabilizing what it has established so far.
9. Caregivers need care too
It makes sense to say that it's challenging to help others attain good shape if you aren't as good. Stroke patients usually suffer from grief, depression, and anxiety. As a caregiver, you'll need to be emotionally well to understand them and offer them a helping hand. Therefore, take some time and refresh yourself to avoid burnout and stress.
10. Seek in-house caregiver's support
Seeking help from professional caregivers can be the answer for most people who want the best for their loved ones. It's no surprise residents of Erie, PA, and its surroundings love our quality home care services.
Our professionals are specially trained to handle stroke patients and seniors with the extra care they need and deserve. Talk to us now to learn more about our quality services.