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5 Steps to Take If a Senior Experiences a Stroke

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A stroke occurs when the brain can’t get enough blood, and nearly 200,000 Americans experience this type of trauma every year. Without proper stroke care, there is a very high risk of secondary complications such as permanent damage to the nerves and muscles.

When recovering from a stroke, seniors often need extensive assistance once they return home from the hospital. Westport stroke care professionals are available 24/7 to help seniors maintain a high quality of life while managing the challenges of stroke recovery. In the event your loved one experiences a stroke, here are 5 steps you should take.

1. Don’t Overwhelm the Senior

Your first thought might be to immediately bring over friends and family members, but this could overwhelm a stroke survivor. Until your loved one has been able to recover for a few weeks, he or she might only be able to focus on one person at a time. When speaking with your loved one, you should use clear sentences and keep your voice at a normal volume. Strokes affect people in many different ways, and some seniors experience absolutely no problems with their comprehension skills. 

2. Get Appropriate Clothes

One of the most common challenges post-stroke is difficulty getting dressed. Even though you might need to dress your loved one for a few weeks, he or she may be able to dress independently with the right clothes and enough practice. Any new clothes you purchase should be loose and easy to put on. Your loved one might also need to switch over to shoes with Velcro straps instead of laces. Clothes with small buttons or zippers should be avoided.

3. Work with Therapists

Many stroke survivors must meet with therapists and other specialists to rebuild their skills. This includes speech therapists who can help seniors form complete sentences and speak clearly. Depending on which part of the brain was damaged by the stroke, your loved one might also benefit from working with a physical therapist who will teach exercises to rebuild the strength in the arms and legs. 

4. Ask the Doctor About Exercising

Stroke survivors should speak with a doctor to make sure they are healthy enough for physical activities. Seniors who have had severe strokes could trigger additional strokes if they exercise too vigorously. As a general rule, those who have had mini-strokes can reduce their risk of additional strokes with regular exercise. Water aerobics, swimming, and stationary bikes are all excellent options for stroke survivors who are trying to rebuild their strength. 

Find out how a Westport, CT, home caregiver can help your senior loved one enjoy a higher quality of life by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. All of our professional respite and live-in caregivers are trained in comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care, and they can also assist seniors with basic daily tasks like exercise, cooking, bathing, and light housekeeping.

5. Join a Support Group

Both seniors and their caregivers can benefit from joining support groups. A stroke can take a major toll on a senior’s quality of life, which can create a variety of psychological problems such as depression. Support groups are an excellent way to meet like-minded people who are in a similar situation. If you can’t find a support group online, you should speak with your loved one’s doctor to see if he or she is in contact with any nearby groups.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder home care. Westport families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To learn about our stroke care plans, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 203-955-1915 today.