Advanced Family Caregiving

How to Give Your Senior Parent TLC After a Stroke

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What is a stroke

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications. The good news is that many fewer Americans die of stroke now than in the past. Effective treatments can also help prevent disability from stroke.

How does a stroke occur?

There are three types of stroke.

  • Ischemic stroke is similar to a heart attack, except it occurs in the blood vessels of the brain. Clots can form in the brain’s blood vessels, in blood vessels leading to the brain, or even in blood vessels elsewhere in the body and then travel to the brain. These clots block blood flow to the brain’s cells. Ischemic stroke can also occur when too much plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol) clogs the brain’s blood vessels. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) A transient ischemic attack, often called a TIA or ministroke, occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked temporarily. Symptoms, which are similar to those of a full stroke, are typically temporary and disappear after a few minutes or hours.
  • Hemorrhagic (heh-more-raj-ik) strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures. The result is blood seeping into the brain tissue, causing damage to brain cells. The most common causes of hemorrhagic stroke are high blood pressure and brain aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weakness or thinness in the blood vessel wall.

What to expect after a stroke

First of all, a stroke is a debilitating condition. And a common occurrence among individuals aged 65 years and above. In other words, after an attack of a stroke, there are many forms of disabilities that set in. For these reasons, these disabilities are often severe and require acute inpatient treatment. Another key point is that your loved ones will also, require care at home after discharge from the hospital.

Disabilities that interfere with the activity levels:

  • Weakness – Also known as hemiparesis. In fact, It only affects one side of the body. To put it another way, it is a sensation that is described as a feeling of numbness and or pain, which can be a cause of great discomfort.
  • Lack of coordination or Imbalance
    – For one thing, this can occur while the person is standing, sitting, or carrying out any activity. Your loved ones might ignore the weak side of the body. For example, if the right side of the body is affected, then your loved one will often eat only half of the food from the plate.
  • Cognitive problems – In this case, may pose difficulty with; thinking, attention, and even memory.
  • Depression – As a result, this can set in soon after a stroke. Sometimes even weeks and months later.
  • Emotional Disturbance – On the contrary, may include sudden outburst of anger, sadness, or even happiness.
  • Dysphagia – your loved ones will have trouble swallowing the food, which prevents them from getting enough nutrients.
  • Bowel and bladder incontinence problems as well.




Caregiving for a Stroke

The needs of your loved ones do not end in the hospital. According to statistics, about 33% of stroke patients require help for carrying out their daily activities. Total living care for your loved ones is a good idea as they will require 24×7 help from a family caregiver. Helping your loved ones with their daily needs to taking care of them in terms of medications and timely exercises, can go a long way in speeding their recovery process.

Helping your loved ones with their daily needs to taking care of them in terms of medications and timely exercises, can go a long way in speeding their recovery process. Outside agencies can be called in to train you to provide extended services to your loved ones who had suffered a stroke. These trained caregivers work towards helping with the many needs of a stroke patient.

These Services Include:

  • Training the family and senior parents with the symptoms of their cognitive skills.
  • Make your loved ones independent in tasks that involve: Going outdoors for grocery shopping, laundry, and even management of household tasks such as meal planning and housekeeping.
  • Counseling your loved ones for improvement in their mood and other feelings.
  • Involving your loved ones in leisure activities, which would not only help clear away depression but also play a major role in the enhancement of their cognitive skills.
  • Occupational therapy to learn activities of daily living
  • Encouraging your loved ones to undergo physical therapy sessions, which helps strengthen the stroke-affected part of the body.
  • Speech therapy will get the tongue and language back to normal.

Recovering from a stroke also will include therapy

It’s important that recovery and rehabilitation from a stroke start as soon as possible. Stroke recovery focuses on four main areas:

Speech therapy

A speech and language therapist will work with your loved ones to relearn how to speak. Or, if you find verbal communication difficult after a stroke, they’ll help you find new ways of communication.

Cognitive therapy

After a stroke, your loved ones will have changes to their thinking and reasoning skills. This can cause behavioral and mood changes. An occupational therapist can help you work to regain your former patterns of thinking and behavior and to control your emotional responses.

Relearning sensory skills

If the part of your brain that relays sensory signals is affected during the stroke, you may find that your senses are “dulled” or no longer working. That may mean that you don’t feel things well, such as temperature, pressure, or pain. A therapist can help you learn to adjust to this lack of sensation.

Physical therapy

Muscle tone and strength may be weakened by a stroke, and you may find you’re unable to move your body as well as you could before. A physical therapist will work with you to regain your strength and balance, and find ways to adjust to any limitations.



How I can help

Finally, under any circumstances, stroke has debilitating effects on many parts of the body. But with lots of tender loving care, your loved ones will recover and also gradually return to their normal life. Dealing with this can be overwhelming and being careful not to irritate the condition any further can cause strain on you, as the caregiver. Here are some great books to help you now.



Having a stroke is a life-changing event in many ways. Even if yours was minor, you’ll likely have some lingering disability when you leave the hospital. The best way to meet this challenge is to make sure you safely ease back into your everyday life. For more information on these matters, please check out some of my other helpful posts.

It can be difficult to attend to your loved one with a stroke, but it’s not impossible. With the right knowledge, you can do this. Don’t forget about taking care of yourself and keeping your business going while you are caregiving. I’m here to assist you on this journey, schedule your planning session with me so we can look at how to keep your life and your business running smoothly.











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