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. As a result, 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 fewer Americans now die of strokes 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 brain’s blood vessels. Clots can form in the brain’s 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. Like a full stroke, symptoms are 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, many forms of disabilities occur after an attack or a stroke. For these reasons, these disabilities are often severe and require acute inpatient treatment. Another critical point is that your loved ones will also need care at home after discharge from the hospital.
Disabilities that interfere with the activity levels:
- Weakness – Also known as hemiparesis. It only affects one side of the body. To put it another way, it is a sensation described as numbness and pain, which can cause significant 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, your loved one will often eat only half of the food from the plate.
- In this case, cognitive problems 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, it may include sudden outbursts 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 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. In addition, outside agencies can be called in to train you to provide comprehensive services to your loved ones who have suffered a stroke. These trained caregivers work towards helping with the many needs of a stroke patient.
These Services Include:
- They are 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 managing household tasks such as meal planning and housekeeping.
- They are counseling your loved ones to improve their mood and other feelings.
- Involving your loved ones in leisure activities would help clear away depression and significantly enhance their cognitive skills.
- Occupational therapy to learn activities of daily living
- Encouraging your loved ones to undergo physical therapy helps strengthen the body’s stroke-affected part.
- Speech therapy will get the tongue and language back to normal.
Recovering from a stroke also will include therapy
Recovery and rehabilitation from a stroke must start as soon as possible. Stroke recovery focuses on four main areas:
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.
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 regain your former thinking and behavior patterns and 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 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.
A stroke may weaken muscle tone and strength, and you may find you’re unable to move your body as well as you could. A physical therapist will work with you to regain strength and balance and find ways to adjust to your limitations.
How can I help
Finally, under any circumstances, stroke has debilitating effects on many body parts. But with lots of tender loving care, your loved ones will recover and gradually return to their everyday lives. 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.
Education in caregiving refers to the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, and understanding necessary to provide care for individuals who require assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming. This education can be obtained through formal programs or on-the-job training and experience. Education in caregiving aims to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality, compassionate care for those in need.
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Having a stroke is a life-changing event in many ways. Even if yours were minor, you’d likely have some lingering disability when you leave the hospital. The best way to meet this challenge is to safely ease into your everyday life. Please check out my other helpful posts for more information on these matters.
Attending to your loved one with a stroke can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With the proper knowledge, you can do this. Remember to care for yourself and keep your business going while caregiving. I’m here to assist you on this journey. Schedule your planning session with me to see how to keep your life and business running smoothly. Here is another article that can help you today, beautiful devices for ambulation.