Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability. Many stroke patients report frustration with the recovery process and difficulties overcoming physical, cognitive and emotional challenges. Although returning home from the hospital may seem overwhelming, there are proactive steps one can take to make the transition smoother.
Below are 7 tips for those recovering from a stroke:
1. Follow expert advice. It is crucial to schedule regular doctor’s appointments; post-stroke patients often need to visit their neurologists once every six weeks during the early stages of recovery, though many fail to comply with recommended follow-up appointments. Your primary care doctor is essential to recovery and can make sure medication needs and health issues are addressed properly.
2. Adapt your home to your abilities/needs. Stroke increases the risk of a fall. Following the advice of doctors, therapists and discharge planners, your home may require modifications to keep you safe and comfortable such as adding grab bars in the shower or moving the bedroom to the ground floor to avoid stairs.
3. Follow up on blood work. Strokes occur when there is a reduction in blood flow to the brain; anticoagulants will often be prescribed to facilitate recovery. The dosage is adjusted based on blood flow, so regular blood tests are essential to ensuring effectiveness and safety.
4. Understand your limitations. During post-stroke recovery, your brain is rebuilding damaged synapses which can cause mild confusion or fogginess along with physical challenges. Activities that were once routine may be more difficult, so take your time and reach out for support from a loved one or caregiver.
5. Do as much as you can. It is important to keep a positive attitude and try basic tasks independently when you feel ready. Small accomplishments will provide a mental boost to help you achieve long-term recovery goals. Remember that you should never endanger yourself by attempting too much too soon, and caregivers or loved ones can help with daily activities until you feel comfortable trying them again yourself.
6. Maintain your rehabilitation schedule. Therapy needs may vary, but all stroke survivors should start as soon as possible, attend recommended appointments and complete exercises.
7. Watch your diet. Stroke can be the result of another medical condition such as uncontrolled hypertension. To reduce unnecessary stress on your body, limit your intake of fat, cholesterol and sodium. A balanced diet and consistent meal schedule are critical to a healthy recovery—a professional caregiver from a reputable home care agency can help you with healthy meal preparation so that you can focus on your recovery.
Stroke recovery is a lifelong process, but you don’t have to do it alone. In addition to health care professionals, part-time or live-in caregivers can also provide much needed post-stroke assistance. Home Care Assistance takes pride in providing the highest level of care with thoroughly trained caregivers that are available 24/7 to respond to your needs. To read more about post-stroke care, please visit www.AustinHomeCarAassistance.com/Stroke-home-care and download a free copy of our “Patient Guide for Post-Stroke Care”.