4 Tips to Help Seniors Transition Home After a Stroke
Many seniors returning home after a stroke may struggle initially as they recover and rehabilitate. Whether your senior loved one is learning to navigate familiar surroundings, coping with lingering effects from a stroke, or grappling with day-to-day tasks, you must take extra precautions to ensure a smooth and productive transition. Your loved one’s safety – physical and emotional – should be a top priority.
Recommendations for a Safe Transition
Returning home following a stroke can be stressful for a senior – and his or her family members. Change is not always easy, but being prepared and informed can make a huge difference.
Here are four tips to help your older loved one feel at ease during the recovery process at home:
- Assess care needs early — and often
- Make necessary modifications to the home
- Arrange for follow-up care
- Get support
If your loved one is being discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation facility, his or her healthcare team will assess care needs in advance. A social worker or case manager can help you develop a plan to promote safety and recovery. Your role in the discharge planning process is to be honest and help the staff identify any concerns.
You should monitor your loved one’s condition — including physical and psychological well-being — after the return home. If you have any trepidations, reach out to the social worker or physician.
Make sure your loved one can perform activities of daily living, such as toileting, getting dressed, preparing food, and keeping the home clean. If you notice your senior is having difficulties, talk to them about getting help from family, friends, or professional home care.
A social worker or case manager may perform a safety evaluation of the home before your senior is discharged. The evaluation determines whether any home modifications or safety equipment is needed.
A social worker may recommend a walker or cane, grab bars, a shower seat in the bathroom, or a chair lift for the stairs. Helpful home modifications can promote a safe recovery and reduce the chances of hospital readmission as a result of a fall or accident.
Your loved one will need ongoing medical care or therapy, so it’s important to make arrangements in advance, especially if you need assistance. If your loved one needs help with transportation, personal care, light housekeeping, or meal preparation, consider hiring an in-home caregiver.
An in-home caregiver can provide personalized support that meets your loved one’s unique requirements. A qualified professional will serve as your eyes and ears during your loved one’s recovery.
Caring for a stroke survivor can be challenging, so it’s vital to surround yourself — and your loved one — with support. Some caregivers and stroke survivors find joining support groups to be helpful. Respite care can also ensure your loved one receives the care he or she needs when you’re not available.
A network of qualified professionals, such as speech, occupational, and physical therapists, physicians, home health aides, and personal caregivers will help address any questions you have. These professionals will encourage and motivate your loved one on the road to recovery.
Reduce Hospital Readmission
If your senior needs personal care assistance after experiencing a stroke, Visiting Angels caregivers can assist by supporting stroke survivors and reducing stress for family caregivers. Our Ready-Set-Go program helps seniors make a successful transition home after hospitalization through a customized approach that begins at the hospital. The program also includes home visits to promote a safe recovery by lowering the risk of hospital readmissions related to falls and other accidents.
Our Visiting Angels care coordinators are available to discuss your loved one’s needs during a free care consultation.