Over 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year. It unfortunately can happen at any age. But seniors are at a higher risk of suffering from this medical emergency. And when it does strike, the effects can be life-changing. Thankfully, there are ways to assist stroke patients during rehabilitation. One of the many options is through the services of in-home nurse care.
If you or a senior loved one has experienced a stroke, recovery may take some time. That said, assistance in various physical activities may improve the healing process. Additionally, having emotional and social support will also go a long way during recovery.
What Is a Stroke and What to Consider During Recovery?
A stroke occurs when there's a sudden interruption in the blood flow to the brain. Most strokes are due to an abrupt blockage of arteries leading to the brain.
While this medical emergency only lasts a moment, recovery can take some time. Additionally, it can have after-effects. For instance, the stroke patient may experience sudden weakness, numbness, or slurred speech.
That said, it's important to follow the doctor's treatment plan. And the combined assistance of a professional home health aide and Registered Nurse can facilitate the recovery process.
To try and reduce the chances subsequent stroke events, consider some of the risk factors below:
Uncontrollable risk factors:
Age, gender, and race
History of stroke
Risk factors you or your senior loved one can control and address:
High blood pressure
Physical inactivity and obesity
How Can in-Home Nurse Care Assist in Rehabilitation?
Immediate stroke treatment is provided in a hospital. But recovery can be in a rehabilitation center or at home. Seniors who have suffered a stroke may prefer to heal at home when possible.
Instead of staying in an unfamiliar environment, they may find comfort in their own home. You or a senior loved one can still regain their strength. By enlisting an in-home nurse care service, recovery doesn't have to be at a facility.
So how can in-home nurse care services help with recovery in stroke patients?
After the initial treatment, stroke patients may benefit from specialized care. With the experience and skills of a Registered Nurse, they are qualified to make an assessment. They can evaluate the patient and provide recommendations to the Doctor if anything else looks like it may benefit the initial recovery protocol provide by the Physician.
As an example, an in-home nurse may do the initial evaluation and recommend that Physical or Occupational Therapy be added to the recovery protocol. If the Physician prescribes these recommended services, a Physical or Occupational Therapist will conduct on assessment and design a plan of care with relation to this portion of the recovery protocol.
Educate Family Members and Caregivers
The participation of family members and caregivers play a huge role in recovery. Small steps over the course of time can lead to significant improvements. Following a post-stroke treatment plan is one part of the process.
That said, an in-home nurse can provide patient and family education and training. They can provide information about the following:
How to take care of your or a senior loved one's needs while staying at home.
If you or a loved one will benefit from in-home nursing care.
How to assist patients with grooming and personal hygiene.
Medication schedule and management.
Once the initial assessment and education are done, family members can decide the level of assistance they require.
Do they have a family member who can care for the patient? Or will they benefit more from the assistance of a professional home health aide?
Follow up on Laboratory Tests
To prevent the occurrence of secondary stroke, proper preventive measures should be taken. This means taking prescribed medications. Additionally, stroke patients also need to undergo regular blood tests.
A Registered Nurse can visit the patient in their home and perform tests. In doing so, they can assess report back to the Doctor if they feel medications may need to be adjusted. For example, anticoagulants are often prescribed to assist in recovery. Regular blood tests will determine whether the medication is safe and effective.
Aside from laboratory tests, an in-home nurse will also observe potential side effects of medications. They will keep track of your or your senior loved one's symptoms and behavior.
Healing at Home with the Assistance of a Home Health Aide
The skills and experience of a Registered Nurse are essential in facilitating post-stroke recovery. But you can combine their services with a home health aide for well-rounded assistance.