Having a stroke is a scary, unexpected experience. The effects can range from minimal to life-altering, but one thing is clear: follow-up care is required. Thankfully, much of this care can be provided in the comfort of home. If you’re caring for someone you love who has recently had a stroke, below are some of the ways you can help ensure optimal healing and find home care support for stroke patients as well.
What Are the Best Tips for Helping a Person at Home After a Stroke?
An essential initial step is speaking with the person’s medical team. Learn as much as possible about what could have triggered the stroke, what the likely outcome is, and what they’re recommending in terms of a treatment and rehabilitation plan. It’s also wise to ask for resources from the doctor about strokes. Knowledge will be key in your ability to deliver the best help.
In addition, our at-home care specialists recommend these guidelines:
- Begin a diary. A simple notebook or electronic document is all you will need. Start with a baseline entry on the person’s physical and emotional state, any medications being taken, eating and sleeping habits, etc. It is normal for new stroke symptoms to arise months after a stroke, and any changes should be brought to the physician’s attention as soon as possible.
- Offer encouragement. Sticking to the doctor’s advised changes in lifestyle is not always easy. It is possible there will be a rehabilitation exercise program to follow, as daily physical activity is an effective tool for recovery for the brain and body. Encourage the person to engage in these activities exactly as instructed. Joining in to work out with the person is a good way to ensure compliance with doctor’s orders.
- Avoid taking control. You might be inclined to want to do as much as possible for the person, to help them to rest rather than overexert themselves. However, it’s essential for the individual to accomplish as much independently as possible in order to optimize healing. Intervene when absolutely required with just enough support to enable them to complete a difficult task.
- Have patience. The recovery process post-stroke might take quite a bit of time, and there may be a few challenges along the way. The individual could also experience pseudobulbar affect, which causes abrupt bouts of laughter or crying for no obvious reason. They could also experience anxiety and fear of another stroke occurring, grief, or depression. These kinds of emotional changes may be upsetting for both of you, but treatment solutions are available to help.
- Take care of yourself. Caregiving for someone you love after a stroke can be emotionally and physically draining. Take the time to create appropriate boundaries to avoid caregiver stress and burnout. Engage the support of other family members, friends, or a professional caregiver to allow you time to step away to tend to your own health and wellbeing.
The Crucial Role of Home Care Post-Stroke
An in-home caregiver should be an essential part of a person’s recovery after a stroke. A few of the many ways a home care provider like Grace Home Care can help include:
- Providing fall prevention along with other home modification recommendations for improved safety and independence
- Offering transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and procedures
- Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- Planning and preparing healthy meals in accordance with any dietary restrictions
- Serving as a friendly companion for conversations, help with engaging in exercise programs, playing fun and mind-stimulating games, etc.
- Aiding with personal hygiene needs
- And more