Stroke is a common medical emergency that affects millions of Americans every year. And while most people know strokes are tied to cardiovascular health, many don’t fully understand their far-reaching effects on general well-being. Stroke survivors often confront a variety of challenges ranging from mobility limitations and paralysis to cognitive impairment.
Fortunately, South Bay residents can find post-stroke help from a Torrance home care agency, such as BrightStar Care. Here are 6 ways the right caregiver company can assist stroke survivors and their loved ones!
1) Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy & Rehabilitation – Most stroke patients will receive some level of physical and/or occupational therapy while recovering in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Some will also receive speech therapy. But these services, which are usually covered under Medicare and/or insurance benefits, often end shortly after hospital or nursing facility discharge. So, some patients can benefit from continued therapy services through a concierge provider.
A comprehensive home care agency in Torrance or the South Bay, such as BrightStar Care, can promote stroke recovery by providing caregivers who lead patients in their therapy exercises. These aides can supplement therapist services immediately after hospital or facility discharge, thereby improving adherence and results. And if desired, BrightStar Care can even provide licensed physical and occupational therapists to lead rehabilitation programs—a rare service not offered by most South Bay caregiver companies!
2) Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – Many families understand their loved one will need help with daily activities once returning home from the hospital or nursing facility after a recent stroke. For example, a patient who has trouble standing or walking will likely require assistance with showering, toileting, and dressing. But a professional caregiver’s duties can be much more extensive.
“Father” may also need help with daily errands, such as cooking and laundry. And a Torrance home care agency’s aide can assist with those too. Caregivers can even provide transportation to medical appointments and give medication reminders, both of which help improve adherence to doctor’s orders and reduce the risk of future medical emergencies.
3) Mobility Challenges – As stated above, many stroke patients will need help with ADLs due to mobility challenges that result from stroke. Unfortunately, stroke survivors often suffer some form of paralysis that can make standing and walking difficult and/or dangerous.
While mobility assistance can help address life’s most basic needs, it can also promote general well-being more holistically. A stroke survivor may want to spend some time outside or in the park. Or perhaps she’d like to join her friends at the local café. A professional caregiver can help facilitate these activities even if the patient can no longer walk unassisted or is fully reliant upon a wheelchair.
4) Medication & Dietary Adherence – Diet and medication adherence reduces health risks for all people. But it’s especially important for stroke survivors who are at high risk of future medical emergencies. Unfortunately, many patients fail to take medications as prescribed and don’t adjust diets according to doctors’ recommendations.
Adherence is further compromised when patients suffer cognitive decline, which is a common side effect of stroke. Even if “Dad” intends to take his medication and eat in accordance with the recommended diet, he may forget to. A professional caregiver can help prevent future hospitalization simply by promoting medication and dietary adherence.
5) Family & Spouse Respite (Relief) – Stroke can have a dramatic impact on survivors, but it also affects the lives of loved ones. Family members and close friends must often serve in patients’ recovery, with duties ranging from assisting with personal care (bathing, toileting, dressing, etc.) to providing general help with everyday errands (paying bills, making appointments, etc.). Fortunately, professional caregiver services can provide “respite” (relief) that empowers loved ones and friends to take much-deserved breaks.
A family might schedule their home care aide to assist on certain days of the week. This allows loved ones who normally provide care to take days off, greatly reducing stress levels and improving quality of life. But they might also plan for bigger respite periods to address vacations or special events. With some planning and a call to a Torrance home care agency, such as BrightStar Care, families can even find caregiver coverage for that two-week Hawaii vacation or big wedding celebration!
6) Companionship & Well-Being – It’s easy for people to focus on physical needs once a loved one has suffered a major medical emergency, such as stroke. But it’s important to remember emotional health and companionship are also critical to overall well-being. A stroke survivor’s life is often very altered once he or she returns home from the hospital. Someone who was formerly active and independent can find himself home-bound, isolated, and reliant on help from others.
Fortunately, a well-matched caregiver can soften the shock of post-stroke living and enhance a patient’s quality of life. Maybe “Mom” can no longer walk to the park alone, but perhaps she can still get outside safely with the assistance of a home care aide. And if “Dad” is unable to tend his garden due to partial paralysis or reduced dexterity, his caregiver might join him in the activity and serve as his “hands” and “legs.” After all, an expert green-thumb still has his knowledge even if he needs a bit of help in completing the physical tasks!
Thanks to the marvels of modern medicine, many people enjoy long, happy lives despite suffering major medical emergencies. But that doesn’t mean stroke survivors always return to “normal” once they are home from the hospital. Some will need additional transitional care before regaining pre-stroke capabilities, while others may face lifetime disabilities. But a professional caregiver or licensed therapist from a trusted Torrance home care agency can help patients rehabilitate as much as possible and improve quality of life!
If you’re researching home care resources for a loved one, friend, or patient who is recovering from stroke, be sure to call one of the South Bay’s ONLY agencies with both caregivers and licensed physical/occupational therapists for a free nurse assessment!