Strokes can affect anyone and by their nature, are unexpected but can have a long-term impact on a person’s life. A stroke will affect everyone in a different way but the key is how the person is helped through their recovery. A stroke can result in issues with mobility, speech or even paralysis. Once they are discharged from the hospital, the real work begins. In a recent journal it was shown that stroke suffers frequently recover faster at home than in a hospital or a care facility. In some instances, it was shown to boost recovery by 10 times! This was accredited to being comfortable and back amongst happy surroundings.
The role of the in-home carer is vital in the stroke victim’s recovery. Here is our guide to helping with the recovery process to get the best results possible.
A common side effect of a stroke is a reduction in mobility. Therefore, it is important to put additional focus on this when caring for someone when they return home. This will involve encouraging them to walk – this could be outside or to start just within their own home. It is equally important not to push the person too hard as overexertion can lead to further complications. It is also worth trying to ensure they use all of their body, not just the parts that have been most affected.
Sadly, a common side-effect of a stroke is depression. A stroke, and the longer-term effects that come with it, can leave many feeling lost, helpless and alone. It is important to look for the signs of depression. These can often manifest with the person becoming withdrawn, quiet or displaying frequent mood changes. A good indicator is asking what they have done today. If the answer is “nothing” this may be worth monitoring.
Depression is a complex condition but can be eased with exercise, diet and companionship. It is vital that these elements are addressed should you consider one of your patients begin to show the signs of depression.
Repetition is a cornerstone of stroke recovery. When engaging in a repetitive task the body activates Neuroplasticity within the brain. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s mechanism for rewiring itself and healing. This could be a simple household task or a repetitive puzzle. The key is the activity must have a positive outcome whilst you, as a carer, offer positive reinforcement.
Strokes are often linked to a poor diet and have clear connections to obesity and diabetes. It is vital that the stroke sufferer eats a balanced diet. Many doctors recommend the inclusion of fish, nuts and seeds. As a carer, you may need to ensure family members are aware of the importance of a healthy, balance diet for their loved ones whilst on the road to recovery.
This is often the case with many medical conditions. A good night’s sleep allows the body and mind to heal. A caregiver must ensure the patient’s bed is comfortable, cool and ready for bedtime to aid sleep and rest. Whilst the body is at rest, it can focus on repairing the damage created by the stroke.
Finally, a major factor in the success of recovering from a stroke is simply having someone there. A cup of tea and a chat can help the patient improve their speech and just knowing there will be someone coming to see them can often make a huge difference whilst keeping depression at bay. This is a vital, and often overlooked, part of care but it is vital in recovering from a stroke.
We Care Together offers specialist in-home care with a focus on stroke recovery. We ensure this by constantly investing in our team with training and advice. We know how to significantly increase the chances of a full recovery and are dedicated to each individual to provide the very best care and support.