5 Ways for Stroke Survivors to Speed Up Recovery

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After experiencing a stroke, your aging loved one needs to follow a comprehensive recovery plan. Without a solid plan in place, he or she might end up with a wide variety of secondary complications that impact physical and mental health. Luckily, many of those complications can be avoided as long as the stroke is treated right away and your loved one makes some lifestyle changes. Here are some tips for quicker stroke recovery.

1. Choose the Right Stroke Recovery Center

Following a stroke, a senior must find a certified recovery center. At one of these centers, your loved one will have access to many different medical specialists, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, and psychologists. Some stroke recovery centers even offer inpatient services so seniors can undergo intensive treatment for at least a few weeks. If you can’t find a good stroke recovery center, ask your loved one’s primary doctor for a recommendation.

2. Follow a Strict Diet

Your loved one’s dietary needs are going to change quite a bit after the stroke. Immediately following the event, he or she must stick to relatively soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow. Eating can be very difficult for stroke survivors, and your loved one could develop pneumonia if he or she eats the wrong foods. You should also make sure everything your loved one eats and drinks is filled with nutrients. A nutritional deficiency could slow recovery and potentially cause secondary health conditions.

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3. Don’t Ignore the Medical Team’s Instructions

Many seniors are in complete denial after having a stroke, and some ignore the instructions given to them by medical professionals. Failing to follow those instructions could delay your loved one’s recovery and greatly increase the risk of a second stroke. You must also make sure your loved one attends all medical appointments and therapy sessions. During these appointments, the medical team will be able to catch minor health issues before they become serious.

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4. Exercise as Much as Possible

Most experts agree stroke survivors should begin physical therapy as soon as they’ve been stabilized. In addition to meeting with a physical therapist, your loved one will need to exercise at home as well. The medical team should provide a safe and effective exercise routine that strengthens all the major muscle groups as well as the stabilizer muscles.

5. Consider Therapy

According to a recent study at Columbia University, just over 25 percent of all stroke survivors develop PTSD. Strokes can have a major impact on mental health, and those psychological issues must be addressed to avoid long-term problems. Meeting with a therapist or counselor a few times a week gives your loved one the opportunity to express his or her feelings and work through emotions in a safe environment. With a positive and healthy outlook on life, recovery can be much easier.

Senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (239) 449-4701 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.