While every senior stroke survivor has unique needs and challenges because of the many different ways the brain can be affected by a stroke, the greatest degree of recovery typically occurs within the first few months after a stroke. However, additional improvements can be seen during subsequent months, as long as treatment continues. If you’re caring for an older family member recovering from a stroke, here’s a look at what you can expect during the first three months of the recovery process.
First Few Days & Weeks Following the Stroke
After the most serious stroke-related issues are addressed, recovery often begins with changing positions when sitting or lying down to keep circulation flowing. If possible, your loved one will be encouraged to walk. Other initial steps may involve:
- Range-of-motion exercises
- Gentle stretches
- Speech and swallowing therapy (if necessary)
If the stroke has caused your parent to have difficulty with speaking and understanding language, he or she may benefit from starting communication and speech therapy early in the recovery process, which may involve:
- The use of communication devices
- Intensive speech therapy
- Personalised speech and vocal exercises
- Brain training exercises to help with memory or thinking issues related to the stroke
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 carers can turn to Newcastle 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.
5–6 Weeks After the Stroke
During this stage of the recovery process, the goal is to regain as much independence as possible. Because proper brain stimulation is necessary to achieve this goal, intense physical and occupational therapy is typically recommended within the first month or so after a stroke to help the brain and body regain the ability to work well together. Recovery during this stage typically includes:
- Stretching routines that can be done at home
- Balance and coordination exercises
- Instruction on how to use assistive devices, such as mechanical gloves that help with gripping and grasping, walkers, and aids for sitting and standing
- Exercises and tasks that provide both physical and mental stimulation
2–3 Months Post-Stroke
The gains made during the first month or so after a stroke will continue when the 2–3-month stage is reached. However, if the brain stem was affected during the stroke, it may take several months or years beyond this point to reach full recovery potential.
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. Newcastle, NSW, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in care worker, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while ageing in place.
Recovery After 3 Months Following the Stroke
When two to three months have passed since the stroke, it can be helpful to set small, achievable goals. Get your loved one involved with this process by asking which specific skills he or she wishes to focus on as recovery efforts continue.
It will take constant work and relearning as stroke recovery continues. For some stroke survivors, this process may involve a combination of regular physical therapy sessions coupled with home-based therapy recommendations. It’s also important during this period to continue with both physical and mental stimulation to keep the brain active and engaged.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while ageing in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of at-home care. Our care workers 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. Call us today at (02) 4089 3000 to discuss how we can provide the highest quality in-home stroke care.