What Happens After a Stroke?
A stroke can drastically change your life, and rehabilitation will be key to returning to a good quality of life. After a stroke, home treatment will be an important part of your recovery.
Tips for a successful recovery
- Be as involved as possible in your care. Although you may feel like letting a caregiver take charge, the more you can participate, the better. Ask for help in dealing with any disabilities you may have, and try to make people understand your limitations.
- Depression is common after a stroke and can be treated. Recognize the signs and take action to cope with depression.
- Participate in a stroke rehabilitation program as soon as possible. After a stroke, a combination of physical, speech and occupational therapies can help manage the basics of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and eating. Doctors, a variety of therapists and nurses will work to help you overcome disabilities, learn new ways to accomplish tasks and strengthen parts of your body impaired by the stroke.
You may need to use assistive devices to help you:
- Eat. Large-handled silverware can be easier to grab and use if you have a weak hand.
- Get dressed. Devices called reachers can help you put on socks or stockings if you have weakness in one arm or hand.
- Walk. Canes and walkers can be used to help prevent falls.
Tips for family members and caregivers
- Family adjustment will be important to your loved one's recovery. Strong support from the family may greatly enhance recovery.
- Manage speech and language problems with simple tips. These problems may involve any or all aspects of language use, such as speaking, reading, writing and understanding the spoken word. Speaking slowly and directly, and carefully listening is helpful.
- Rehabilitation support involves participating in your loved one's rehabilitation as often as you can. Give as much support and encouragement as possible.
Planning for the future
Although stroke rehabilitation is increasingly successful at prolonging life, a stroke can be a disabling or fatal condition. People who have had a stroke may consider discussing health care and other legal issues that may arise near the end of life. Many people find it helpful and comforting to state their health care choices in writing with a living will or other advance directive while they are still able to make and communicate these decisions.