Each year, thousands of seniors are the victims of a stroke. Many seniors face the challenge of giving up some of their cherished freedom and independence after experiencing a stroke, changing a caregiver’s roles and responsibilities. It magnifies what was already a challenging situation. If you’re currently a caregiver for a senior that has suffered a stroke, your role in providing them with the support they need can make a big difference in keeping them safe at home. Here are five tips to help make that happen and assist them with their stroke recovery.
1. Provide Them Emotional Support
It can be devastating to a senior’s emotional well-being when they’re recovering from a stroke; anxiety and depression are common complications. Spending large blocks of time with a senior and reassuring them that they’ll receive the care they need goes a long way in helping them be in the right frame of mind to maximize their recovery.
Do your best to get them to join a stroke recovery support group, and try to attend all of their doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions. If their depression becomes severe, talk with their doctor about medications that might help them feel more like they did before the stroke.
2. Help Coordinate Their Rehab
Physical and speech therapy may be needed to help your loved one regain the use of parts of their body that were paralyzed. They may also need to learn coping mechanisms to aid them in living with a permanent disability. The sooner they can begin rehab sessions, the greater the odds that they’ll completely recover. You can help coordinate their care by finding therapy options, researching what Medicare or insurance covers, and by providing transportation for them.
3. Make Their Home Safer
Another way that you can help with their recovery is to make your senior’s home safer. If they need to use a walker or wheelchair, add a ramp to the front door and eliminate any clutter that’s blocking their pathway. Install handrails in the bathroom for the tub and toilet, and consider getting a shower seat. Make sure that the stairs and steps in the home have handrails and are well-lit.
4. Use Convenient Communication Aids
A stroke will often affect your senior’s ability to speak and communicate. This can be incredibly frustrating for them. If your loved one has difficulty communicating, consider using:
- A portable chalkboard or dry-erase board if your senior is still able to write
- A communication board with common words and phrases if your loved one can only gesture or point
- Apps that can help them verbalize, if your senior can use their hands and fingers but can’t speak clearly
5. Help Minimize the Risk of Another Stroke
According to the American Stroke Association, the risk of having another stroke is as much as 25 percent greater after someone suffers an initial stroke. This risk is even higher if your senior didn’t follow a healthy lifestyle before they had their stroke. You can help your loved one reduce the risk of suffering another stroke by:
- Minimizing stress and anxiety
- Discouraging unhealthy habits, such as smoking
- Making them healthy, nutritious meals
- Encouraging them to exercise as much as possible to regain mobility, coordination, flexibility, and motion range.
We Can Help with Stroke Recovery
An in-home caregiver can be a much-needed source of support for a senior that is recovering from a stroke. At First In Care, our family trusted services in Manatee County, FL, include respite care, companionship care, personal care, medication reminders, transportation, and even 24-hour care. For your added convenience, all our home care amenities can be individually combined into an affordable package that accommodates your budget. To learn more about First In Care now, please visit us at www.firstincare.com.