When a senior has a stroke, it can be alarming for family members. Not all strokes are life-threatening, but they can impact speech, cognitive ability, and movement in the face and limbs. However, the quicker you help your loved one, the better the chances are for recovery.
Allentown elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
If your loved one experiences a stroke, you should take the following 5 steps.
1. Seek Emergency Medical Attention
If you suspect your loved one is having a stroke, you need to call an ambulance and get him or her to the local hospital immediately. Make sure the hospital staff members understand the situation, and tell them as much as you can about your loved one’s symptoms and medical history. The sooner the doctor can treat your loved one, the better the chances are for survival and recovery.
2. Consider Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation may be necessary to help your loved one regain the use of various body parts, enhance speech, or find ways to live without using a paralyzed limb. Some hospitals offer inpatient rehabs, and you may have to send your loved one to a nursing home or separate facility for a little while. You can also hire a therapist to come to his or her home during the week. The quicker you begin rehabilitating, the better the chance your loved one has for a full recovery.
3. Provide Emotional Support
Recovering from a stroke can be challenging for a senior’s emotional state. If your loved one is anxious or depressed about his or her recovery, do what you can to provide emotional support. Help connect him or her with support groups and other people in similar situations. Visit your loved one often, and attend doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions with him or her. If the depression worsens, talk to your loved one’s doctor about medication.
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. Allentown, PA, 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.
4. Make Sure the Home Is Safe
When your loved one comes home from rehabilitation center or the hospital, it is important to make sure he or she is safe living at home. Start by cleaning up any clutter that may cause him or her to fall. If your loved one uses a wheelchair or walker, add a ramp to the front door and move any furniture that blocks pathways. You may need to install rails to help your loved one stand up from a sitting position. You may also consider hiring a part-time caregiver to look in on your loved one a few days a week.
5. Help Prevent Future Strokes
Over 25 percent of stroke survivors may experience another stroke within the next five years of their lives. However, there are some things you can do to prevent this from happening. If your loved one has high blood pressure, getting it under control is crucial. Diabetics need to get their blood sugar under control as well. If your loved one is obese, losing weight can help. Adapting a healthy diet of lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables is also important, as is 30 minutes a day of exercise. Some research has found social interactions helpful in preventing future strokes, so make sure your loved one has visitors, goes on outings, and maintains relationships with friends and family.
If you are caring for a senior loved one who has experienced a stroke, the Allentown, PA, post-stroke care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are expertly trained in stroke care and can assist with a wide array of tasks, including bathing, grooming, cooking, and exercise. Call us at 484-350-3874 to create a customized post-stroke care plan for your senior loved one.