Guest Blog: How to Help a Loved one After Surviving a Stroke

If your loved one has suffered from a stroke, physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges may develop as a result. The recovery time following a stroke is different for everybody, and it can take weeks, months, or even years. While some people recover fully, others develop lifelong or long-term disabilities. Remember that handling stroke aftermath can be tiring, but you can make substantial progress with consistent effort and patience. The following tips can help you recognize and manage common issues as you care for a loved one who has survived a stroke.

Identify Stroke Symptoms

One of the best ways of helping someone to recover from a stroke entail incorporating preventative measures like knowing stroke symptoms because instant treatment can be lifesaving. Also, it impacts full recovery chances. Unluckily, stroke survivors have a high probability of a second stroke attack. Research shows that one in every four stroke survivors will experience another one.

The risk of experiencing a second stroke is roughly 40% higher within the first five years following the first one. The good news is that medical intervention and lifestyle changes can help avoid approximately 80% of secondary strokes.

Incorporate Light Exercises

Including leg exercises to a stroke survivor is vital for a quick recovery. Although every patient should have a personalized exercise routine, you can find helpful Gait training exercises for stroke patients that are safe and easy to do at home. These stretching and low-impact exercises for stroke recovery come in handy in helping your loved ones have improved mobility.

Be Mindful of Communication

One of the leading and most annoying stroke’s side effects is the incapacity to speak or recognize speech. It is estimated that about 25% – 40% of individuals who get stroke develop aphasia, damage to the brain, mainly the left side that manages language. Therefore, if you are dealing with a loved one with this condition, you should use short and simple sentences. It would help if you also tried to be patient when communicating with them because it’s only their capability to speak that’s affected; their intelligence remains intact.

Dealing with PSTD

After a stroke, it’s pretty standard for stroke survivors to experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PSTD’s typical symptoms include the person experiencing disturbing events recurrently in the form of hallucinations. These nightmares are usually accompanied by the victim’s feelings of self-doubt, unyielding anxiety, and improper guilt over their condition. The best way of managing this condition involves using medications like anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants. Also, psychotherapy is essential.

Decreasing Stress and Inflammation

Body inflammation can lead to other problems. For example, a stressed body produces a hormone known as cortisol floods. This hormone affects the pH levels resulting in acidity. Extended high acidity levels kill essential body bacteria while enhancing the rise of bad ones. Ultimately, it results in a weak immune system.

The good news is that using a natural probiotic, such as yogurt is an excellent way of stimulating good bacteria in the body. Also, taking supplement drinks can boost immunity significantly. Besides balancing the pH level, incorporating stress management exercises like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and tai chi can limit an individual’s cortisol levels.

Don’t Overlook Falls

It’s common to experience falls after a stroke. Take your loved one to an emergency room instantly if the fall is serious and leads to the extreme pain, bruising, and bleeding. It would also be valuable to visit a physician to treat your loved one who experiences slight falls more than twice in six months.

Manage Depression Before It Worsens

While post-stroke depression is common amongst many stroke survivors, it is essential to suppress it before it deters recovery. Consulting a healthcare expert to create a plan of action is advisable because post-stroke depression can enormously impact your loved one’s rehabilitation and recovery.

Be Aware of Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is a typical issue amongst stroke survivors. Maintaining blood sugar levels at optimal levels is advised. So, if the victim has diabetes, you must be cautious of insulin and blood sugar levels.

Professional Assistance for Stroke Survivors

The stroke recovery process is a daunting one, and it’s full of twists, turns, ups, and downs. It takes dedication and hard work to recoup physical and mental functionality after a stroke. Fortunately, the tips mentioned above come in handy in helping you recognize and overcome most challenges linked to recovery.

 

By |2022-02-13T10:34:42-05:00February 14th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How to Help a Loved one After Surviving a Stroke

How Yoga Helps in Stroke Recovery – by Gwen Watson

 

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States with around 140,000 people succumbing to them every year. What’s more worrisome is that Stroke Center reveals that nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65, putting the elderly at immense risk. And while we’ve already provided several tips on how to recover from a stroke in our video 7 Steps to Stroke Recovery, there is another method that could prove beneficial to stroke victims.

While yoga isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of activities for the elderly, it’s a pretty good source of exercise for those who have reached an advanced age. Case in point, 94-year-old world champion ballroom dancer Tao Porchon-Lynch swears by the mental and physical benefits that she gets from yoga. That said, how can these benefits affect those in stroke recovery?

Physical Benefits

One of the biggest hindrances that come with a stroke is its lingering effects on the survivor’s balance and range of motion. Most stroke survivors find it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as walking or operating household devices.

Yoga’s focus on poses and posture addresses these physical issues and strengthens the practitioners’ bodies, improving their flexibility and range of motion. Health writer Carol Krucoff details how yoga can help seniors improve their balance, strength, and agility. She notes that seniors have to be extra careful, as they are more prone to injury due to their age. This especially applies to stroke survivors who may have trouble with the poses at the start, but this is an endeavor worth undertaking for stroke recovery.

Spiritual Benefits

One of the biggest hindrances to recovery when it comes to strokes is the toll it takes on the survivor’s emotional well-being. The American Stroke Association emphasizes how common depression is in stroke survivors due to both biochemical changes in the brain and the shifts in the psyche of the survivor.

This is why stroke survivors need not only address the physical challenges of recovering, but also the inner challenges that it poses. Fortunately, yoga has a solution for this as well. Lifestyle writer Jane Adamson highlights the spiritual benefits of yoga, as it helps one find inner peace amidst difficulty. This is because yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that aims to, above all else, help its practitioners achieve a sense of serenity. This is in line with the teachings of yoga that highlight the connection between mind and body, meaning that taking care of one aspect also positively influences the other.

Mental Benefits

A stroke is sometimes called a brain attack because it occurs when your brain stops getting the oxygen that it needs to function. This is why survivors need help rewiring their brains after a stroke, as going through that sort of trauma leaves lasting effects. Yoga helps break through the mental barriers that come with stroke recovery. In the early stages of recovery, survivors find it difficult to make their bodies do what their brains want them to. And while some may argue the validity of this, a case reported in The Guardian narrates how a stroke patient can regain their sight after going through intensive brain training.

It isn’t a stretch to attribute yoga’s focus training to alleviating the mental blocks that come with surviving a stroke. Indeed, yoga’s emphasis on focus and being present in one’s body should aid in the survivor’s overall journey to recovery and rehabilitation.
Written exclusively for Senior-care-central.com
by Gwen Watson

By |2021-11-30T16:27:20-05:00December 10th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How Yoga Helps in Stroke Recovery – by Gwen Watson