The effects of a stroke vary from almost no visible changes to difficulty speaking to paralysis. These physical manifestations are in direct relation to the area of the brain that was injured. Often this occurs because of a blood clot or blockage in an artery in the brain which caused reduced blood flow and oxygen, ultimately destroying part of the tissue. The good news is that with appropriate therapy, many individuals continue to improve for a number of years following a stroke.
Caring for your Parent
Your parent may require help with the everyday activities of life. They will often continue physical or occupational therapy in order to help them continue to progress and learn new skills or relearn old ones. As a family caregiver it will be important for you to gain as much knowledge as feasible regarding the limitations and expectations of your parent’s physical condition. You want to provide help in order to keep them safe as well as letting them do what they are able in order to continue to push themselves and improve—often a fine line to traverse.
A Second Stroke
Once your parent has experienced a stroke, they are more prone to a second. According to the National Stroke Association, “Recurrent strokes make up about one out of four of the nearly 800,000 strokes experienced in the U.S. every year.” The good news is that approximately 80 percent of secondary strokes can be prevented by a change in lifestyle. These are the lifestyle changes that you, as a family caregiver, can help your parent adopt.
- Stop smoking. Smokefree 60 Plus is a website designed to help seniors beat this difficult habit to break.
- Monitor your parent’s blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar and make sure that they are staying in the designated ranges.
- Help them remember to take any prescribed medications.
- Provide healthy meals that are predominantly fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats. Limit alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day.
- Help your parent work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.
- Make their home safe by removing any tripping or slipping hazards such as throw rugs or clutter. Install grab bars in the shower and by the toilet. Make sure all areas of the home have good lighting and consider installing motion sensor lights in appropriate places.
Senior Care Provider
It’s important to take care of yourself as you take care of your parent. Consider hiring a senior care provider a few days a week in order to provide you with the time you need to continue to do the things you love and take care of yourself through exercise and social activities. Senior care providers have cared for countless seniors post-stroke. They know the possible physical and communication challenges they may face and will support them as they progress through the healing stages.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Cinnaminson, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
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