What You Need to Know After A Loved One’s Stroke
If your loved one has had a stroke, it can let you feel confused and unsure. You probably have many questions about what life for your loved one will be like. You might be concerned if they will recover. Or, what will your loved one's needs be from now on? Plus, there is worry about how you will manage within your new role.
When you’re a caregiver, it becomes all about what your family member needs. But you can’t do it alone, so some suggestions below will help you balance the needs of your loved one and your own.
- Be educated on your loved one’s medications and any side effects. Find out if modifications are needed to meet the new needs of a stroke survivor. Talk to your family member’s doctor to answer your questions.
- A stroke survivor is at a high risk of having another stroke, so reduce those risks, or there may be another stroke. A healthy diet, taking medications as prescribed, exercise, and keeping visits to healthcare providers is essential.
- Many factors influence recovery with a stroke. It depends on what part and how much of the brain is affected. The motivation of the stroke survivor, caregiver support, and how healthy your loved one was before the stroke. Also, it depends on the amount and quality of rehabilitation.
- The most rapid recovery of your stroke survivor is within the first three to four months after the stroke happens. Gains can happen fast or over some time. But, some survivors will continue recovery in the first and second years after the stroke occurs.
- Physical therapy may be needed if your loved one has a hard time moving around daily or walking. Or, if they have an imbalance that results in falls or are dizzy. If your loved one can't walk six minutes without feeling the need to stop to rest. Or if your stroke survivor can't complete or participate in daily activities.
- A fall after a stroke is typical, so don't ignore them. If your family member's fall is serious, and they have bruising, bleeding, or severe pain, an emergency room visit is necessary. If there are minor falls that occur two or more with six months, then talk to the doctor or a physical therapist.
- The progress your loved one makes needs to be measured. The rate of improvement decides how much acute rehabilitation is required. The Functional Independence Measure Score or FIMS of stroke survivors is measured by increases in mobility, communication, and daily skills.
- When your family member changes in their abilities, it can mean a difference in services. If your loved one's physical function has changed, then Medicare coverage for rehabilitation therapies could be covered. If there is any improvement or any decline in your loved one's self-care, speech, or motor skills, it can mean a change in eligibility services.
- Be prepared for changes in mood or behavior in your family member. It can be devastating for a person, the stroke survivor. The losses can be permanent or temporary and can change their life. Your loved one is feeling grief from having a significant life change, and it's a necessary step to accepting the changes in their life.
- Depression is another factor that stroke survivors are at risk. A bout of depression can interfere with the recovery process of your loved one. Ask their doctor what signs to watch for and where to seek treatment if you see it.
When a loved one has a devastating stroke, it can be life-altering for both your loved one and you. We here at Right at Home can help with the care of your loved one, call us today.