Home Care Services for Seniors Following a Stroke
After surviving a stroke, your loved one has a different set of care priorities. They may have lost mobility after being partially paralyzed, and the need for your assistance has spiked considerably. At first, perhaps you were only needed for basic needs like grocery shopping. But after a stroke, your family member may require more intensive support. He or she will depend upon you for help with personal care like bathing and grooming. And as you manage your own household and career, caring for your loved one can become much more challenging.
In-Home Care for a Stroke Survivor
In a healthy brain, blood flow delivers oxygen to its cells. But during a stroke, the brain’s blood supply gets temporarily cut off. The shutdown causes vital brain cells to die. The brain damage leads to loss of control over memory and muscle movements.
A stroke survivor faces many physical and mental challenges. Depending on the severity of the brain damage, your loved one will have minor to significant mobility and cognitive issues. Immediately after a stroke, the survivor may endure:
- weakness in an arm or leg
- memory loss
- partial paralysis of the face
- difficulty or loss of ability to speak
- paralysis to one side of the body
Be prepared to provide extensive care for your recovering loved one. Care in the aftermath of a stroke requires a great amount of attention. You will have to plan the logistics for your family member’s basic routines. The stroke survivor may need help with everyday activity: showering, dressing, eating, bathroom breaks, and even basic communication. He or she may become fully dependent on you. Meantime, as difficult as it may be, you must be prepared should your loved one remain permanently impaired.
“Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than two-thirds of survivors will have some type of disability,” according to the National Stroke Association.
One family caregiver may not be enough to take care of the stroke survivor in the long-term. After a stroke, your family member needs a care plan that’s sustainable because burnout can interfere with your own life. The National Center on Caregiving states that "...most caregivers are ill-prepared for their role and provide care with little or no support, yet more than one-third of caregivers continue to provide intense care to others while suffering from poor health themselves.”
Professional Home Care Services Can Reduce the Chance of Hospital Readmission and Prevent Another Stroke
The first month after hospital discharge is critical. It’s time to focus on stabilization, so your loved one doesn’t need to be readmitted to the hospital. “Among seniors on Medicare, roughly 20 percent of discharged patients end up back in the hospital within 30 days of being sent home. Elderly adults have a much lower chance of recovery if they are re-hospitalized in this 30-day window, which is why reducing hospital re-admissions is so important.”
If your family member would like to stay at home and age in place, the road to recovery can be daunting. Because of the physical changes that occur in the brain after a stroke, survivors may experience increased levels of anxiety, anger and depression. Many find it challenging to deal with the intense negative emotions afflicting your stroke survivor, making an already difficult task harder.
When the responsibility for your loved one has fallen on your shoulders, there are essential facts you should know:
- Recovery for a stroke survivor is a lifelong process. It’s a myth to think the survivor will make a rapid recovery, per the National Stroke Association.
- Stroke ranks fifth as the leading cause of death in the U.S. and is a significant cause of severe disability for adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable.
When your loved one has suffered a stroke, professional home care service can be an enormous help. A professional caregiver from Visiting Angels Newton/Canton can fill in the gaps for daily personal care. Without hygiene assistance, your stroke survivor may remain less able to bathe or get dressed properly. But a Visiting Angels caregiver has the skills to restore dignity to daily self-care for your recovering family member.
“Home care complements existing health care services, alleviating pressure on the overall system, allowing more traditional models of care to work and do what they do best,” according to a joint report by the Home Care Association of America and Global Coalition on Aging.
If your loved one has a chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure, a trained professional home care aide can actively monitor the illness. With proper monitoring, the stroke survivor can eat healthier meals and drinks, take necessary medication and perform light exercises if possible. These efforts directly help prevent another stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Should the stroke survivor show symptoms of a health issue, you will be promptly notified. Your Visiting Angels caregiver performs only non-medical home care assistance; however, the skilled assistant can be the first to notice signs that something is wrong and call for help. It's peace of mind you can't get any other way, especially considering the increased difficulty of your loved one's care.
The help a home care provider offers goes beyond physical tasks, too. For example, after a stroke, your family member may have more difficulty speaking because of facial paralysis. During this time, it’s helpful to show the stroke survivor ways to stay connected. An experienced Visiting Angels caregiver can practice online social skills with your loved one to help him or her stay connected.
Taking care of a stroke survivor is a constant task. Family caregivers can feel burnt out or frustrated. Professional respite home care by Visiting Angels provides the break you need to rest and regroup, another reason why home care services provides peace of mind and incredibly positive results.
How to Get Started with Home Care through Visiting Angels Newton/Canton
Now that you know the benefits of a professional home caregiver from Visiting Angels Newton/Canton, it’s time to share with your loved one. And if you feel worried that he or she may resist outside help, don’t get discouraged. Start off with an open, casual discussion. Need help with that? Contact us at 617-795-2727 for a free initial consultation. Our office is open from 9 AM to 5 PM and our On-call staff can be reached after hours. Our experienced case managers will help you get started.
About Visiting Angels Newton/Canton:
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton MA is an award-winning home care agency providing high caliber in-home care services to elderly and people with disabilities. Countless families have benefited from our dementia home care, care for Alzheimer's patients, companion care, respite support, transitional aid, and senior home care services in Needham, Dedham, Brookline, Chestnut Hill, Wellesley, Newton, Canton, Westwood, Watertown, Natick, Stoughton, Roslindale, Norwood and nearby towns. While non-medical in nature, the care provided by Visiting Angels Newton/Canton can make a big impact on your loved one's happiness and quality of life. Call us today at 617-795-2727 for a free in-home consultation!