The process of recovering from a stroke is often filled with uncertainty. At best, your senior loved one’s doctor can give you an estimate of the recovery time based on factors such as your loved one’s general health and the location of the stroke. While you may not have a set date for when you can expect your loved one to be better, understanding the typical time scale for stroke recovery can help you prepare to assist him or her.
The Importance of the First Three Hours
Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is cut off. Blood clots and broken blood vessels are the main reasons this occurs. Doctors have the ability to potentially halt the worst effects of a stroke by administering a special IV medication that breaks up the clots. However, it must be given within the first three hours after the stroke begins for it to be beneficial. After that, too much damage may have already occurred. Make sure your loved one and his or her caregivers are able to recognize the signs of a stroke so they immediately seek medical assistance.
What to Expect During the Initial Recovery
The initial recovery begins as soon as the hospital staff get your loved one stabilized. During this time, your loved one may start off as unresponsive and gradually begin to become more aware and active. As soon as it’s safe, doctors will begin working on therapeutic exercises that help your loved one regain his or her skills, which will likely be done based on assessments that help the team know which of your loved one’s abilities are affected. Speech and motor control are common abilities affected by a stroke. This period usually lasts anywhere from two to four weeks. Once your loved one is strong enough, he or she will be discharged from the hospital so you can take him or her home.
This is the best time to plan ahead for your loved one’s return home. 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 Austin 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.
How to Prepare for the Next Months at Home
Your loved one is most likely to make the biggest gains in abilities during the first three months after the stroke, which means he or she will probably be unable to do many normal activities independently immediately after coming home. Your loved one may still be facing difficulties with muscle control due to weakness and fatigue or be unable to complete tasks that require executive functioning skills, such as the ability to create a grocery list and refill the pantry. A severe stroke may require your loved one to learn how to use a mobility device such as a wheelchair. Ask your loved one’s medical team for a realistic view of what life at home will be like to help you arrange for the appropriate home care services to keep him or her safe.
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. Austin, TX, 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.
When to Expect Full Recovery
After about six months, a stroke survivor’s skills begin to stabilize. However, survivors can continue to recover abilities as far as two years down the road. As your loved one regains abilities, remember to continue to alter the care plan to add and subtract services to fit his or her needs. You should also remember to never underestimate your loved one’s need for help. Even with the best possible recovery outcome, your loved one may still need assistance at home to overcome lingering challenges.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elderly home care. Our caregivers 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. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (512) 623-7800 today.