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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in stroke

Posted by on in Senior Health

SAFETY AND MOBILITY

We will end the month addressing some safety and mobility issues with stroke survivors. You may need to make modifications that require professional installation, especially if your loved one is in a wheelchair.

*Entry ways and hallways should have a 32 inch clearance to accommodate people in wheelchairs. An uneven threshold should be fixed or changed to prevent tripping and allow easier wheelchair access.  A portable ramp is often an affordable solution.

*Stroke survivors who are unable to grasp with their fingers or twist their wrists to open doors can use a downward movement of their fist top open lever door handles more easily than regular doorknobs.

*To allow for movement in a wheelchair, furniture may need to be moved and thick rugs may need to be replaced. Throw rugs should be removed unless they are secured sufficiently to the floor with non-skid tape.

*Stroke survivors who are ambulatory can benefit by wearing non-skid shoes to prevent slipping. Handrails should be installed on all stairs to provide support.

*A stair glide or stair lift is a way to transport a person up or down stairs while the person is seated. It may be expensive to install. Another option is a platform lift which is similar to a small elevator.

*Pathways should be clear of clutter and electrical cords.

*Phones should be easily accessible in every room of the house. Cordless phones or a wearable call button may be necessary. Emergency phone numbers should be posted in a highly visible area. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and check them regularly. Have a well-thought-out and posted fire escape plan.

ELDERCARING is here for you!!! Call for information on getting in-home care for your loved one!

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When your loved one suffers a stroke, you may have a lot of questions about whether your loved one will recover and what his/her needs will be in the months and years ahead. It can be overwhelming.

Here are some tips that can help you balance the needs of the stroke survivor with your own health and happiness. In the first weeks after a stroke, you'll have a lot to learn and assess as you look to the future.

EDUCATE YOURSELF: There can be a lot to learn, so take advantage of every opportunity to learn about stroke and your loved one's condition and prognosis. Take part in support groups or programs that are offered by the hospital and/or rehabilitation center. Talk with the health care team about what the stroke recovery and rehabilitation process will be.

LOOK INTO INSURANCE/FINANCES: Medicare and/or health insurance will cover most of the hospitalization expenses. There may be restrictions on which facilities and providers are covered. Be sure to find out exactly what is covered and what out-of-pocket payments may be needed. Also, remember, that as your loved one gains abilities or is no longer progressing, coverage may change or stop. A Social Worker or Case Manager may be able to assist you in these insurance issues.

STROKE REHABILITATION: Attend a few therapy sessions so that you can support your loved one during the recovery process. Be supportive and allow survivors to do things for themselves. It may take them longer to accomplish a task but once done- will help them become more self-reliant and confident!

ASSESS NEEDS WITH ABILITY TO MEET THEM: Your loved one's health care team can help you determine what kind of help will be needed. Caregivers often need to: provide personal care such as bathing and dressing; coordinate health care needs including medications and appointments (both doctor and rehab); manage finances and insurance; help the survivor maintain and increase his/her ability to function. Remember you can't do everything!! Be realistic about what you can take on and what you may need help with.  ElderCaring can provide skilled caregivers!!!

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The month of May recognizes a few topics that are relevant to the "Elder" community. We will profile STROKE AWARENESS. Hope you find this information helpful and you learn something new. If you or a loved one needs assistance in your home, call ElderCaring for the perfect caregiver!

WHAT IS A STROKE?

A stroke is a "brain attack". It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.

How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

While stroke prevention and treatment research is ongoing, the most important things you can do now is know the symptoms and fight as many of the risk factors as you can.

STROKE FACTS:

Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke.

One out of 6 people will suffer a stroke in his or her lifetime.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S.

American Stroke Month is a yearly opportunity to make more people aware that stroke threatens millions of American lives, young and old, male and female, from every background.

Stroke is preventable, treatable and beatable if spotted F.A.S.T. and 911 called.

F=face drooping

A= arm weakness

S= speech difficulty

T= time to call 911

Beyond F.A.S.T.-- other symptoms you should know: sudden numbness or weakness of the leg, arm or face; sudden confusion or trouble understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If someone shows any of these symptoms, immediately call 911! Note the tome of the first symptom. This information is important and can affect treatment decisions.

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Deciding on care for a loved one who has had a stroke can be a very stressful situation.  Do they need 24-hour care at a live-in facility or are they able to return home?  Rehabilitation can be a long and slow process, and most likely, even if they are able to live at home, the loved one will probably need some degree of help.  Of course, you will need to speak with the medical professionals and your loved one to determine exactly what care they might need.

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