Suffering from a stroke can be one of the most overwhelming and terrifying health crises someone can go through. Strokes can happen out of nowhere and leave a person unable to move, talk or function as normal. However, the effects of a stroke don’t just occur in the moments when the stroke happens, they can result in serious, long-term side effects. Most people who suffer from a stroke will require serious rehabilitation and possibly even need to spend some time in assisted living.
What Exactly Are Strokes?
Strokes can be very serious and are actually the fourth leading cause of death in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control. Strokes are most commonly caused by a blood clot and deprive adequate oxygen and blood flow to the brain. If there isn’t medical intervention right away, this lack of blood flow and oxygen can actually cause cells within the brain to die. This can cause serious damage to speech, basic motor skills and cognitive abilities.
What Are the Signs of a Stroke?
The best way to make sure that the stroke recovery and rehabilitation process goes as smoothly is to notice the signs of a stroke quickly and immediately seek medical attention. The key is to act FAST, which not only means acting quickly but remembering the acronym F-A-S-T.
Facial Weakness: This includes droopiness or partial paralysis in the face, typically just one side of the face. This is often one of the first indications of the beginning of a stroke.
Arms: If you suspect someone is having a stroke, ask them to raise both arms over their head and to keep them up. Difficulty with this task is a potential stroke symptom.
Speech: Slurred speech is one of the most common indications someone is having a stroke. A person may also be unable to pronounce words. This condition is known as aphasia.
Time: The most important thing to remember with a stroke is that time is of the essence. The quicker you react, the better off your loved one’s recovery will be.
What Type of Rehabilitation is Required After a Stroke?
Depending on the type of stroke, the severity of the stroke and the individual, rehabilitation following a stroke can vary from person-to-person.
Due to the neurological effects of a stroke, it can prevent many patients from performing everyday actions and activities which is why in addition to rehabilitation, many people also need to go to some type of assisted living facility in order to get the additional help that they need.
There are many steps involved in post-stroke rehabilitation, but the ultimate goal is to help those who have fallen victim to strokes to be able to perform the everyday actions that they lost following their stroke. For many people, this means speaking, walking, hand-eye coordination and simple activities like getting out of bed and using the restroom on their own. Typically, rehabilitation includes both physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Assisted Living Options Following a Stroke
Since a stroke often prevents people from carrying out basic everyday tasks and living on their own, there are many stroke victims who decide to use assisted living communities during their recovery and rehabilitation process. Most stroke patients will go to an inpatient rehabilitation facility, such as Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation, where they will not only live in a supervised care situation, but where they will also be part of regular, around-the-clock rehab that can help them strengthen certain muscles, regain coordination and function and ultimately (hopefully) return to life as normal.
There are some stroke victims that will go to a skilled nursing facility if they need more time to rest and more diligent care. However, most experts recommend that anyone who has suffered from a stroke begins a rehab-focused regimen of at least three hours per day as soon as they are able. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and more. Most stroke victims will not be able to go home right away following their stroke, not only because of their need for rehabilitation, but because they are often unable to perform everyday tasks safely.
In fact, safety is one of the primary reasons why assisted living is so important for those who have suffered from a stroke. Many times, simple activities like getting out of bed, using the toilet or getting in and out of the shower can not only be difficult after a stroke, but dangerous. Assisted living communities can help make sure that the individuals recovering in their facilities aren’t hurting themselves and are staying safe as they deal with the physical, mental and emotional recovery following their stroke.