If your older loved one has survived a stroke, their need for care may require a different set of priorities. Strokes can leave lasting neurological damage that can be tough to work through but it is absolutely possible to return to a good quality of life. If you were already a caretaker, you may have only providing assistance for basic daily tasks. However, a stroke victim may need more intensive care with personal hygiene, grooming, and medication management. If you are also running your own household, you already know the challenge that this presents.
Stroke Recovery and In-Home Care
Stroke survivors will no doubt be faced with new challenges that range from cognitive issues to loss of physical mobility. It’s important to prepare for the extensive care that may be needed following a stroke. This will likely involve planning for all the daily care routines, such as using the toilet, showering or bathing, getting dressed, eating, and sometimes even help with basic communication. As hard as it may be, you need to be prepared for your loved one becoming totally dependent on your help. While many stroke victims survive and flourish, others may be permanently disabled and will need round-the-clock care.
Depending on the level of care needed, you may not be able to provide the necessary care all by yourself. It’s critically important to create a care plan that is sustainable, not just for the family member who needs care, but also for the caregiver to avoid burnout. Remember, if you become burned out in the process, you will not be able to be your best for your own family or the loved one receiving your care. Studies show that most caregivers, however well-intentioned, are not prepared for the stress that comes with being a full-time caregiver. The single biggest contributor to this statistic is the lack of support for the caregiver. If you don’t get support in your role as a caregiver to a loved one, it can have negative effects on your own health. You deserve to take care of your own needs as well!
The first few weeks after being released from the hospital are important. The scary part of survival has passed and now it’s time to focus on rehab and getting a new normal established. All of this is essential to make sure being readmitted to the hospital doesn’t happen. The reason this is so important is that nearly 20% of seniors who have had a stroke are readmitted to the hospital within the first month. These same studies also show that recovery happens much slower when rehospitalizations occur, so it’s important to avoid it, if at all possible!
Most seniors want to age in place at home. While this can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be with proper planning and information. The road to recovery after a stroke can be challenging, with the changes that happen in the brain. You may notice increased frustration, anger or anxiety in your loved one and that is totally normal following a stroke. It’s hard enough to adjust to these changes, let alone the task of dealing with your own emotions as you see cognitive or physical decline.
Here are some key facts to know when being the caregiver of a stroke victim falls to you:
• Recovery for a stroke survivor will take place over the rest of their lives. It’s not reasonable to expect a quick recovery, especially in elderly patients.
• Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is one of the highest causes of severe disabilities among older adults.
• It is possible to prevent up to 80% of all strokes!
If your loved one has survived a stroke and is on the mend at home, it may be a huge source of help to bring in a home healthcare worker to help with daily self-care. Your loved one may require assistance with bathing, dressing, etc., and a home health worker from Home Helpers can help them while maintaining their dignity.
Your loved one may also be dealing with the chronic nature of illnesses like high blood pressure or diabetes, and a home health worker can also monitor things like getting a healthy diet and medication reminders. They can even help with light physical therapy, lowering the chances for another stroke.
You will have the peace of mind knowing the home health caregiver will notify you as quickly as possible about new symptoms or problems, should the need arise. While home caregivers don’t usually perform anything other than non-medical tasks, they are experienced in looking for signs of distress and can call for help. This can help leave you and your family members feeling much more at peace about the care of your loved one!
One of the areas that can be quite frustrating for stroke survivors is communication. It’s common following a stroke for your loved one to struggle with speaking clearly. Most of this is due to facial paralysis and can be helped tremendously with therapy. Experienced home caregivers will also be able to utilize online social platforms to help your loved one stay feeling connected to the outside world. This can reduce the frustration and isolation that comes with a devastating brain injury such as stroke.
Caring for stroke survivors is a 24/7 job and requires constant attention, which can easily leave the caregiver burned out or frustrated. Hiring an in-home healthcare agency like Home Helpers can give you the help you need to take care of your own affairs while having the peace of mind that your loved one is being cared for properly. You must allow yourself time to regroup and rest!
In-Home Care Services for Seniors
If you have a parent or other loved one who has recently come through surviving a stroke, we are here for you! We specialize in bringing customized care for your particular situation so everyone involved can feel comfortable. Every senior we work with is important to us and we will do everything in our power to meet their needs! We will also adjust our care plan as your loved one continues to improve and their needs change.
Our in-home care services for stroke patients are available in Allison Park, Bellevue, Bradford Woods, Cheswick, Cranberry Township, Etna, Fox Chapel, Franklin Park, Gibsonia, Glenshaw, Hampton, Indiana Township, Mars, McCandless, North Hills, Oakmont, O’Hara Township, Pittsburgh, Ross Township, Seven Fields, Sewickley, Shaler, Treesdale, Warrendale, West Deer, Wexford, and Zelienople, Pennsylvania.
Call Home Helpers today at (412) 364-HOME for a free in-home assessment so we can help put together a care plan that is right for that special loved one in your family! They’ve survived a stroke. Now it’s time for them to have the best care they deserve so they can live a full life again.