Stroke Recovery: What to Expect in the First 90 Days

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When a stroke occurs, damage to the part of the brain that experienced a blood clot can cause some impairments in the body. Stroke survivors may need to relearn how to talk, dress, write, use the restroom, and feed themselves. Though stroke complications vary from person to person, the first three months of recovery are a critical period. Learn what to expect and how to help your senior loved one during this time.

First Three Hours

The first three hours after a stroke initially occurs are critical. If your loved one is able to receive medical care immediately after the stroke, complications may be reduced. During this time, doctors can administer medications to dissolve the blood clot. The sooner treatment occurs, the better the overall prognosis.

Initial Recovery Period

The doctor will examine your loved one and treat critical conditions that may cause further complications. After your loved one is no longer in a critical stage, he or she may be moved to an inpatient rehabilitation center or nursing facility. A study published in The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry found that how someone recovers during the first few weeks after a stroke is predictive of how much he or she will recover overall. Researchers found that approximately half of recovery takes place within the first two weeks.

This is the best time to plan ahead for your loved one’s return home. 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 Bethlehem 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.

Five to Six Weeks

During his or her time in the rehabilitation center or nursing facility, your loved one will be working intensely to recover. In these facilities, trained medical professionals work with your loved one to help him or her regain as much independence as possible before returning home. Your loved one will go through physical therapy exercises, such as range of motion exercises, to regain necessary physical skills such as sitting up, standing, and walking. Speech and occupational therapy will also occur. Speech therapy can help your loved one communicate with others. In occupational therapy, your loved one will learn life skills, such as how to feed and dress him or herself. Therapy sessions are typically intense and may occur as often as five to six times per week.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Bethlehem, PA, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

Three Months

Most stroke survivors experience the greatest recovery during the first three months. Recovery may be rapid or occur at a slower pace. If your loved one’s brain stem was affected by the stroke, recovery could take a year or more. When your loved one is able to do so, he or she will return home from the rehabilitation or nursing facility and likely continue physical, speech, and occupational therapy on an outpatient basis. As your loved one’s caregiver, you’ll receive instructions on how to help as he or she continues to recover at home. Making sure your loved one follows these instructions, takes medications, keeps doctor’s appointments, and eats a healthy diet are essential in preventing future strokes from occurring. Stroke survivors are at an increased risk of having additional strokes. Doing everything possible to prevent a stroke is critical for your loved one’s health.

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care services. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 484-350-3874 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.