Guide to Caring for Your Loved One after a Stroke

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After being discharged from the hospital following a stroke, your loved one may need after stroke care, including physical therapy and in-home nursing care. The level of support needed may be dependent on the severity of the stroke and on how fast they are able to recover. As a caregiver, you may not know where to begin. Here are some areas that may you may need to address.

Rehabilitation

After your loved one’s stroke, they may need physical, occupational or speech therapy, and maybe all three, for a time afterwards. Rehabilitation for stroke patients can be inpatient, outpatient, or in the patient’s home. Consider what works best for you and your loved one.

  • Does your loved one need a high-level of care after leaving the hospital? An inpatient rehabilitation unit may provide the support and attention to help them make a safer transition home. Therapy can also be more intensive and nurses are available to provide medical oversight during the stay.
  • An outpatient therapy unit allows your loved one to return home after receiving therapy, allowing for access to a well-equipped gym while letting your loved one stay in the comfort of their home. Transportation needs will have to be addressed if your loved one is unable to drive and caregivers don’t have schedules that allow them to be available during the day.
  • In-home therapy allows your loved one to receive their therapy in the comfort of their own home. This can be good if transportation is an issue, although they won’t get the benefit of being in a gym with specialized equipment.

Medication Management

Stroke patients may need a number of medications afterwards and may need assistance to take them correctly. Using a pill box or an electronic medication reminder can help manage when medications should be taken and help eliminate missed doses.  Additionally, talk with you loved one’s doctor and learn what side effects you should be looking out for.

In-Home Nursing Care

Even if you are planning to be your loved one’s primary caregiver, consider hiring an in-home nurse or aide to provide additional assistance with after stroke care. A nurse can help manage medications and other medical needs and an aide can help with bathing, toileting and other activities of daily living. Having a team to help you out can relieve some of the stress you may feel as a caregiver.

Take Time for Yourself

It is very important that as a caregiver you take time to care for yourself. Consider joining a caregiver support group. Ask family members to step in for you a couple of hours a week so that you can do the things that you enjoy. When your loved one is up to it, consider a medical adult day center that can provide them with recreational activities and social support outside of the home.

If you need additional assistance or advice for providing the right care for your loved one, Abramson Care Advisors can help. A senior care professional is available free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 215-371-3400.