Recovering from a stroke is almost always going to be a lengthy process, but older adults and their caregivers can do quite a bit to speed up the recovery timeline. With a few simple lifestyle changes and some hard work, stroke survivors can boost their cardiovascular health, minimize the symptoms of the stroke, and reduce the risk of follow-up cardiac events. Here’s a quick look at some major milestones and hurdles stroke survivors can expect.
Catching a Stroke Early
Many people don’t realize catching a stroke right away can greatly impact recovery. When the early warning signs are recognized and seniors are taken to the hospital, they’re usually given medication that breaks apart the clots. By having the clots broken apart, seniors may have fewer complications down the road. The medical teams are also going to monitor blood pressure levels, hydration, heart rate, and brain function.
The First Few Days
As soon as the medical team believes the senior is relatively safe, they’ll immediately come up with a rehabilitation plan. They’ll also carry out a wide array of tests to determine how much damage the stroke has done. Once the tests have been completed, seniors are typically guided through range-of-motion exercises, limb-strengthening movements, and balance exercises. These various movements and exercises are sometimes overseen by neurologists, but most brain experts prefer to send stroke survivors to trained physical therapists.
The total length of time stroke survivors spend in the hospital depends on a few different factors, including the severity of the strokes and their overall health. Stroke survivors stay in the hospital for at least five days on average, and they’re constantly monitored during that time. They’ll also be given medications to break apart any lingering clots. After being cleared by their medical teams, they’ll usually be sent home as long as the strokes were relatively minor. For severe strokes, seniors are almost always sent to long-term rehabilitation centers.
This is the best time to plan ahead for your loved one’s return home. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Richmond Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
In the weeks following a stroke, seniors must be fully dedicated to their treatment plans. The initial recovery period is absolutely vital to long-term health, and following the treatment plan can greatly reduce the risk of permanent impairments. Most stroke recovery plans including daily physical training, cognitive exercises, and occupational therapy. Those treatments can either be carried out at home or in a rehabilitation center.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Richmond, VA, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.
As time goes on and the complications begin to disappear, all the treatments will be scaled back as long as the senior’s health continues to increase. By the third month, the senior might only need to work with a physical therapist two or three days a week. If there are any lingering symptoms, a neurologist will generally suggest more intensive treatments, such as non-invasive brain stimulation or the use of stem cells.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of homecare services. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. If you need professional stroke care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746.