The weeks and months immediately after a stroke are especially important for older adults. This is the time when the brain is making its greatest efforts to rewire itself and regain lost abilities. Even so, it can be difficult to face the physical and emotional changes that often occur following a stroke. If the senior stroke survivor you’re caring for is 80 or older, here’s what you can do to help him or her recover.
Provide Necessary Assistance When They Return Home
The type of rehab or physical therapy recommended for an 80-year-old senior after having a stroke depends on what was affected and how the initial recovery goes. If the stroke was severe, your loved one may be advised to temporarily spend some time in a rehabilitation facility for stroke survivors, allowing him or her to have convenient access to physical, occupational, and speech therapy. If your loved one is able to safely come back home, play an active role in recovery by:
• Ensuring daily care guidelines are followed
• Helping with physical therapy routines
• Lending a hand with tasks that are too demanding, such as basic household chores, cooking, and daily grooming
• Considering in-home care for times when you’re not able to provide supervision and assistance
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Huntsville live-in care experts are available around the clock to help. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Offer Encouragement and Motivation
It’s not uncommon for stroke survivors in their 80s to develop depression because of their sudden limitations. If depression sets in, it could complicate the recovery process or even reverse positive strides your loved one has already made. Minimize this risk by offering regular encouragement and motivation and:
• Helping your loved one set smaller, achievable goals
• Letting your loved one know you love and support him or her
• Offering praise when he or she accomplishes tasks or regains abilities
• Reminding him or her that all stroke survivors recover at their own pace
Use Convenient Communication Aids
A stroke often affects the ability to speak and communicate (a side effect referred to as aphasia), and this can be especially frustrating for an 80-year-old who is used to clearly articulating what he or she wishes to express. If your loved one’s ability to communicate has been affected, consider using one or more of the following communication aids:
• Portable chalkboards or dry erase boards, if your loved one is still able to write
• Communication boards with common words, expressions, and phrases, if your loved one can only point or gesture
• Apps that can help with verbalizing, if your loved one is still able to use his or her hands and fingers but cannot speak clearly
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Huntsville Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Minimize the Risk of Another Stroke
According to the American Stroke Association, the risk of having a stroke becomes greater after an initial stroke occurs—by as much as 25 percent, according to some estimates. This risk is likely to be higher if your 80-year-old loved one didn’t follow a healthy lifestyle before having the stroke. Help your loved one reduce the risk of another stroke by:
• Minimizing stress and anxiety
• Discouraging bad habits, such as smoking
• Making healthy meals that are full of nutrients
• Encouraging him or her to exercise as much as possible to regain mobility, flexibility, coordination, and range of motion
An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who is recovering from a stroke. Families looking for top-rated elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (256) 716-9940 today.