Caring for a Loved One After a Stroke
When a loved one suffers a stroke, friends and family often feel shock, sadness, and a sense of helplessness. Coming to terms with these emotions may be painful; becoming a caregiver to your loved one may be even more stressful and exhausting. If you are caring for a loved one who has suffered a stroke, we urge you to review these important recommendations post-stroke.
Create a Team
Your loved one may require evaluation and treatment from a number of different medical providers (i.e.: primary care provider, neurologist, cardiologist, psychologist) as well as rehabilitation care specialists (i.e.: case worker, social worker, occupational and physical therapists.) Along with other key family members (i.e.: caregiver, family members, friends), you can create a team with the health care professionals to proactively communicate all developments related to your loved one. If possible, schedule regular status call updates. Most importantly, ensure that all team members are connected so they can provide the right care required by your loved one.
Evaluate What Level of Care is Needed
If your loved one can’t return to a previous lifestyle after a stroke, what type of care will he or she need? What activities will your loved one need help with? Will your loved one move in with a family member or will he or she require assisted living?
Together, the medical and rehabilitation specialists along with the hospital social worker or insurance case manager can work with your family to assess the level of care that your loved one currently needs as well as what he or she may need in the short-term. Key facts in this decision include how much the individual can do on their own (i.e.: getting dressed, eating, showering, using the bathroom, talking, writing.)
If the assessment concludes with you or another family member becoming a caregiver, be sure to create a plan that includes help from family members, neighbors, friends and nurse aides.
Becoming a caregiver can be rewarding yet demanding. As a caregiver, you need to take proper care of yourself. So, in addition to the medical and therapy appointments you arrange for your loved one, you must schedule some personal time every day to take a walk, do yoga, listen to music, or just relax with a good book or a movie. Many caregivers use affordable in-home help or adult daycare programs.
- In-Home Help
- Nursing aides help with meal preparation, bathing, grooming, toileting, medication management, checking vital signs, as well as household cleaning, laundry, and transportation.
- Adult Daycare
- Facilities that offer exercise, art, music and therapy.
If more care is needed, then evaluating specialized care facilities is the next step. These facilities range in price; higher levels of care are generally associated with higher costs.
Post-Stroke Care in a Facility
- Private apartments; aides can help with meals, laundry, cleaning, medication management and personal grooming.
- Residential Care
- Similar to assisted-living but typically with communal meals.
- Nursing Homes
- 24/7 skilled nursing care including toilet use.
- Continuing Care
- Facility providing all levels of care.
1Adapted from digital guide from the National Stroke Association. https://www.stroke.org/we-can-help/caregivers-and-family/careliving-guide
Whichever living arrangements are selected, ensuring that your loved one starts a rehabilitation program as soon as possible is crucial for recovery. Much stroke-related recovery occurs within the first 6 weeks although slower recovery continues over the next few months.
Do you have questions about caring for seniors? Expicare can help. Contact us at 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com. For more information on caring for a loved one who has suffered a stroke, check out a great digital guide from the National Stroke Association.
Expicare Nursing, Inc.
Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.