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What Happens After a Stroke?

Nov 16, 2018 by Nancy Hmieleski, RN, BSN Director of Nursing

The time immediately after a stroke can be frightening and overwhelming. The stroke victim and their family have a lot to think about. One of the things that is likely to be foremost on their minds is what happens next. Among the first things that occur shortly after a stroke is that the older adult will begin stroke rehabilitation. Knowing what to expect during stroke rehabilitation can relieve some of your worries and help you to prepare.

The Rehab Team

Exactly what the senior’s stroke rehabilitation involves depends on the severity of the stroke and what areas of the brain have been affected. Usually, they’ll begin rehab within 24 hours of the stroke. The doctor will first determine that their condition has stabilized. After that, they’ll start with basic exercises that help them relearn things like how to sit up, get to the bathroom, dress, and eat. 

Relearning skills after a stroke usually involves a team of people. Some of the people who may be part of your aging relative’s rehab team are:

  • Physical Therapists: These individuals will help the senior to do exercises that will help them develop better balance and regain movement and coordination.
  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists help the stroke victim to relearn or learn new ways to do everyday tasks, like dressing and eating.
  • Speech-Language Pathologists: These are people who help with difficulty speaking and swallowing.
  • Psychologists and/or Social Workers: Stroke victims often experience emotional problems due to stroke, like depression and anxiety. They may also need help with care. Psychologists and social workers help with these aspects of stroke rehab.

Length of Rehab

Don’t be surprised if the older adult’s stroke rehab team cannot tell you just how many weeks they will be attending rehab appointments. Stroke recovery can be unpredictable. How long it takes also depends on the severity of the stroke. It can also depend on other conditions the senior has. In some cases, a stroke victim may recover quickly, but most have a longer rehab journey. However, you should expect the rehab program to change as the senior recovers. The team members will continually evaluate their condition and adjust the plan as the person’s needs change. 

Regardless of the length of time rehabilitation takes, your loved one is likely to need some additional help during recovery, and perhaps beyond that. Senior care can offer that help. Senior care can assist with non-medical needs that will help the older adult to live more comfortably and safely at home. Senior care providers can help maintain the environment by cleaning the house and doing laundry. They can also cook meals. And, senior care can help your family member with personal care aspects, such as dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/stroke/rehab-stroke#1
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/in-depth/stroke-rehabilitation/art-20045172
https://www.stroke.org.uk/sites/default/files/When%20a%20stroke%20happens_0.pdf

If you or an elderly loved one are considering senior care in Hackettstown, NJ, or the surrounding areas, call the caring professionals at Comfort Keepers of Flemington, NJ. Call today (908) 806-2220.

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