If your parent has suffered from a stroke and is now ready to come back home to continue her recovery, you might be wondering what to expect during this transition that can sometimes take a very long time. Recovery time can be different for everyone who has had a stroke and can take as little as a few months to a few years. And while many people recover fully, some people will continue to have long-term or lifelong disabilities after a stroke.
As you maneuver through some of these possible problems that may persist after a stroke, it’s important that you have a good team of professionals along with your family to help your parent recover and be able to live independently again. A trained home health care provider will be a wonderful asset to your team, being able to provide care and some treatments right at your parent’s home instead of always needing to find transportation to physical or occupational therapists.
- Paralysis (inability to move some parts of the body), weakness, or both sides on one side of your parent’s body.
This is one of the most common aftereffects from a stroke. Your parent may need extensive physical therapy to regain strength and coordination. A home health care provider can provide some of these treatments at your parent’s home.
- Problems understanding or forming speech. Your parent might have to relearn how to speak or say certain things. A speech therapist can help with this progress and even show you and your home health care professional techniques you can use at home with your parent to increase communication abilities.
- Trouble with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Occupational therapy can help your parent re-learn things that she now struggles with. A lot of grace and patience will need to be used for both your parent and those around her.
- Numbness or strange sensations. These can prove to be annoying and distressful. Helping your parent be aware of these complications will help her not panic when they occur.
- Pain in the hands and feet that increases with movement and temperature changes. Your home health care provider may have tricks and tips for helping your parent manage these intermittent pains.
- Difficulty with chewing and swallowing. This is another area that occupational therapy can help your parent make strides in improving so that she will not have to worry about choking.
- Bladder and bowel control issues. Your parent may need temporary items to help prevent accidents but as she goes through recovery, the accidents should lessen as she regains control over her bladder and bowels.
- Trouble controlling or expressing emotions. There’s a lot of emotions that your parent and your family will go through as she fights to regain her previous self. Even in the best of situations, controlling emotions can be hard, especially with those we love. Having professionals to help you navigate these waters will give your parent the best care and you the needed support during emotional turbulent times.
- Feeling depressed. As stated above, this can be a very hard and emotional time and may lead to depression for your parent as she battles exhaustion and stress of relearning things she has known how to do forever. Talk to her doctor about her depression if it interferes with her recovery. There may be medications that could help.