Home Care Following a Stroke
World Stroke Day is on Thursday the 29th October 2015.
Strokes are Australia’s second biggest killer after heart attacks – one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime, and someone suffers a stroke every 10 minutes.
Strokes happen when blood supply to the brain is interrupted, either by a blood clot or a burst blood vessel, and the brain is starved of oxygen.
Not all stroke victims are elderly, in fact according to recent data from the National Stroke Foundation, 30% of stroke survivors are under the age of 65.
However strokes do predominantly affect seniors and with one in three of stroke survivors unable to carry out all their lifestyle activities unassisted, some degree of home care assistance will be necessary.
Surviving a stroke can be an extremely confusing and traumatic time; therefore planning should be put into place even before the patient leaves the hospital.
Most hospitals have a stroke team who will help you organise professional appointments and put you in contact with services providers such as Home Instead.
Caring for loved ones at home after a stroke
Obviously there are varying degrees of stroke, so everyone’s individual circumstances and needs will be different.
The one thing stroke survivors have in common is that they will be anxious about being home again – particularly if they are alone – and worried about how they will cope with life after a stroke.
You can be there for them to provide physical and moral support.
It is also imperative that you have a basic understanding of stroke rehabilitation – such as ongoing treatment, the importance of exercise and ways to prevent another stroke (eg. lowering blood pressure/cholesterol, losing weight, improving their diet and reducing alcohol consumption).
Stroke survivors will have to get used to doing things differently, especially if any of their faculties or motor skills have been impaired.
You should encourage them to accompany you on short walks, do light exercise, set achievable goals and adhere to an action plan.
If their memory is failing them, Home Instead suggest you use a communication book to record relevant things like which therapists they’ve seen and what they discussed.
No doubt they will live in fear of having a second stroke, so anything you can do to help them feel more positive – including putting them in touch with people who have had a similar experience and recovered – would be a positive step in their recovery.
If your circumstances make it difficult or impossible to be there for your parent or grandparent, Home Instead can help.
Our CAREGivers can provide short or long-term care at home to ensure your loved one always has the best possible care. Our professionally trained CAREGivers will go to great lengths to make sure they are safe, comfortable and well on the way to a speedy recovery and recuperation.
For more advice on home care assistance following a stroke, contact your local Home Instead office.
The Stroke Foundation has also produced a variety of resources that will help you and your loved one get the support and care you need following a stroke. Enableme is a free online resource and community developed with stroke survivors for stroke survivors and their families and supporters. With fact sheets and videos on a wide range of practical topics impacting daily life after stroke, enableme will help you actively plan your ongoing recovery, and let you know what steps you need to take next and who to contact for rehabilitation, care, support and assistance.