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How a Stroke Affects the Victim and their Families

How a Stroke Affects the Victim and their Families

How a Stroke Affects the Victim and their Families

The brain controls emotions and behaviors. A stroke has devastating effects on the brain, causing behavioral and emotional changes. Stroke impacts not only the senior but the family. Fortunately, the disabilities associated with strokes improve over time, allowing victims to regain strength and independence.

What is a stroke?

Oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the brain via the blood supply. When this vital blood supply is interrupted or reduced, the brain tissue fails to receive essential nutrients. Within minutes, the brain cells begin to die. This is called an ischemic stroke.

Strokes are medical emergencies that require immediate treatment. Early action can lessen the chances of the senior experiencing brain damage and other complications. With effective treatment, disabilities are prevented. The good news is that today, fewer people in the US die of a stroke.

How does a stroke affect a senior?

A stroke causes multiple symptoms. One sign of a stroke is trouble speaking. The elderly victim has difficulty understanding the words of others, may experience confusion, and can slur words. Speech therapy is necessary to help seniors who have problems producing speech.

The senior’s face, arms, or legs undergo paralysis or feel numb after a stroke. A stroke primarily affects one side of the body. For example, when stroke victims smile, one side of their mouth may droop. Upon raising both hands, one arm begins to fall—indicating a stroke is happening.

Other physical problems that develop after a stroke include stumbling and losing one’s balance. Dizziness and a sudden loss of coordination can also occur. These problems can make it difficult for an aging stroke victim to walk without reliable support.

Sudden, severe headaches can be a warning that a stroke is in progress. Along with these headaches are bouts of vomiting and dizziness. Seniors who’ve had a stroke may experience blurred or double vision, either in one or both eyes.

The emotional impacts of a stroke are equally distressing. Stroke victims who are no longer able to independently carry out tasks can begin to feel frustrated and angry. Aggression is common, and the senior can throw things, shout, or threaten individuals.

After a stroke damages the brain, reading social situations becomes difficult. Older adults may no longer know what is expected socially, causing them to interrupt people or fail to respond to body language. The senior may make tactless remarks or act impulsively.

How does a stroke affect families?

A stroke can occur out of the blue, leaving most family members uncertain about what to do. Relatives often find themselves unprepared for the new caregiving role. Providing continual care for an elderly stroke victim can be extremely exhausting physically and emotionally.

Family caregivers must be prepared for the high level of care involved, since the recovery time after a stroke can vary significantly, from weeks to months or even years. Some elderly stroke victims fully recover while others are stricken with long-term or lifelong disabilities.

A stroke victim may be unable to move a finger for three weeks, for instance. Encouragement is needed when disabilities occur. Caregivers should track the senior’s progress (such as being unable to stand at first, but now being able to take steps) as a form of motivation.

Various therapies may be prescribed to aid in the senior’s recovery process. Physical therapy is geared toward helping seniors relearn movement and coordination skills lost in the stroke. Occupational therapy is designed to improve daily activities, like eating, drinking and bathing.

Since caring for an aging stroke victim can be demanding, it’s important for families to establish a support network. Friends and relatives can be instrumental in helping to care for the victim. Professionals, too, should be consulted to accelerate the senior’s recovery.

Friends, neighbors and family members may be willing to pitch in. A neighbor might mow the lawn or a spouse can prepare weekly meals, thereby reducing the workload and stress levels placed on the family caregiver. Support can give the caregiver crucial time for self-care activities.

Caregivers are advised to join support groups for families of stroke victims. The American Stroke Association, hospitals, and social media are places to find those who have been through similar situations. Support groups offer advice and relatable stories, giving families ways to connect.

Support can also be found from home care agencies. Professional caregivers are instrumental in providing assistance with daily activities in the comfort of home. Extra support ensures adequate care for the senior but also provides time for the family caregiver to engage in self-care practices.

Home Care for Stroke Victims

After a senior experiences a stroke, one of their most important sources of long-term assistance is family. A second important resource is in-home care from a reputable senior care agency, like Assisting Hands Home Care. We support the elderly with daily non-medical tasks in their own home.

Our home care agency gives older adults an opportunity to age in place. Responsibilities our professional caregivers undertake include meal preparation, grocery shopping, medication reminders, transfer assistance, fall-risk assessments, and light housekeeping. We serve as pleasant companions, socially engaging seniors with conversations, leisure activities, and games.

Transportation is also provided by our professional caregivers. We drive seniors to doctors’ appointments as well as physical therapy or occupational therapy sessions. If needed, your aging loved one will be accompanied throughout the outing to ensure safety and confidence.

Assisting Hands Home Care services are flexible. We offer respite care to give families much-needed breaks, as well as 24-hour care and live-in care. Seniors with dementia benefit from our compassionate Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Senior home care is personalized to meet individual care needs.

When your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with a medical condition or would simply like extra help at home, choose Assisting Hands Home Care. Upon scheduling a free in-home consult, we’ll develop a customized care plan. Call us at (630) 526-6522 today for private home care in Medinah, IL | Glendale Heights, IL | Itasca, IL | Bensenville, IL | Elmhurst, IL | Villa Park, IL | Addison, IL | Lombard, IL, and the neighboring areas.