6 Rules to Follow if Your Elderly Loved One Has a Stroke

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The way you act after a senior loved one has a stroke could determine how he or she recovers. Every second counts, and acting immediately could save your loved one’s life. Here are some of the steps you need to take if your loved one has a stroke.

1. Understand the Warning Signs

If you don’t know much about strokes, it could be difficult to determine if your loved one has had one. There are common signs you can look for, such as sudden vision impairment, difficulty speaking, facial numbness, dizziness, and severe headaches. If your loved one is experiencing these symptoms, he or she might have had a stroke, and you need to act immediately.

2. Call 911

Don’t try to contact your loved one’s primary care physician first. Doing so could waste valuable time, so you should always call 911 first. Make sure to answer the 911 representative’s questions as honestly and accurately as possible. Don’t let your loved one talk you out of calling 911, regardless of how he or she feels. The sooner your loved one gets a medical evaluation, the better.

3. Avoid Immediate Sleep

After a stroke, many seniors feel tired and want to go to sleep. You should never allow your loved one to go to bed after having a stroke. He or she will need to be seen by a doctor. Most medications prescribed by doctors are time sensitive, so your loved one will need to seek treatment as quickly as possible. 

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.

4. Don’t Provide Food or Medication

When faced with a challenging situation, family caregivers need to remain calm and alert to avoid dangerous errors. The biggest mistakes most caregivers make after their loved ones have strokes is providing food, drinks, or medication. Seniors need to receive CAT scans before being prescribed medication for a stroke. A stroke can affect the ability to swallow, making it painful and difficult to eat or drink, so you’ll need to wait for the doctor to give your loved one an acceptable diet plan. 

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.

5. Don’t Let Your Loved One Drive

The effects of a stroke can be continuous, and seniors who get behind the steering wheel immediately after a stroke could put themselves and others in danger. Your fear could also disrupt your own driving abilities, so you’ll need to wait for emergency responders to show up and transport your loved one to the hospital. While waiting, your priority is to make sure your loved one is breathing and in a comfortable position.

6. Prepare for Recovery

Before your loved one is released from the hospital, discuss the dos and don’ts with the nurses and other medical providers. You should also make changes to your home to accommodate your loved one, such as installing grab bars, adding extra lighting, and rearranging furniture. The objective is to enhance your loved one’s wellbeing and prevent another stroke.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Richmond elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at Richmond (804) 741-0009 or Williamsburg (757) 220-3151.