Did you know that in America approximately 610,000 new people have a new stroke each year? A stroke can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life, especially because the recovery time can be lengthy and challenging. With May being Stroke Awareness Month, YFM’s Internal Medicine Bedford TX team wanted to take a moment to share some helpful information that could potentially help make yours or a loved one’s healing time a little less stressful.
Common Effects of a Stroke
Because the brain is so complex, effects of a stroke will vary from person to person. Factors that affect a stroke’s impact include the location of the stroke, the type of stroke, the number of total strokes as well as the intensity of the stroke(s). Some of the most common effects of a stroke include the following:
- Vision problems
- Memory loss
- Behavioral changes
- Emotional changes
- Communication complications
Have a Post-Hospital Game Plan
As much as possible, try to keep an open line of communication with your hospital care team. They will be establishing a plan for discharge as well as potentially getting a start on continued rehabilitation goals. Most times the next step following discharge is time at a rehabilitation facility. Depending on the patient’s condition, this facility may be inpatient, subacute or outpatient.
It is helpful to have a loved one in the room to help document care instructions as well as important reminders the care team may have for the patient. Take detailed notes and ask questions while you have the care team in the room with you. Be sure to get your doctor’s preferred method of contact should you have any further questions after discharge. It’s also important to touch base with your primary care physician before or shortly after discharge. If you don’t currently have a primary care physician, Your Family Medical currently has Bedford doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook, Boyd and Lewisville).
Make Necessary Home & Life Modifications
Almost 25% of all strokes are a person’s second stroke. In fact, within the first three months following their stroke, a person is much more likely to have a second stroke than after that period. During this time, there is also an increased risk of falling or injury.
This means life at home needs should support safety and prevention as much as possible. Here are some tips to consider when preparing to return home.
- Tuck all cords out of major walkways
- Find safe places to store shoes and other typical floor clutter
- Place rubber grip products under loose rugs
- Install grab bars in the shower/tub area
- Make modifications to common household chore routines so that they don’t involve climbing, fall risks or heavy lifting
- Consider purchasing a chair commode that you can keep nearby at nighttime
- Know the signs of a stroke and post them somewhere obvious in your home for guests to be aware of
Make Rehab Exercise a Priority
The more committed a patient is to rehab exercise, the greater his or her chances at regaining strength, coordination and mobility. These exercises are designed to help re-connect your brain to basic functions, offering you the very best opportunity for healing, health and a high quality of life. It’s essential that stroke victims continue following the directives of their therapists as long as it’s advised by their care team.
If possible, patients should include a trusted family member or close friend in the rehab exercise journey. Ask him or her to offer encouragement and accountability in the challenges associated with attending the sessions and completing the home exercises. Patients should also establish personal goals that align with the therapist’s goals and take the time to celebrate when reaching those goals.
Life after a stroke can be challenging and require the patience of the stroke victim as well as his or her family and friends. We’ve also seen evidence that life after a stroke can be incredibly rewarding when the patient has a care team who is there supporting the patient throughout the healing process. Your Family Medical would be honored to be a part of that team, cheering you on. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help.