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Acute stroke is one of the deadliest medical conditions. CDC recognizes it as the fifth leading cause of death among women. On top of that, strokes account for the leading cause of death for men. Males tend to get hospitalized and struggle with long-term disability more often than women.
However, about one-third of patients can recover with no or insignificant impairments. So we’d like to share some tried-and-true tactics that might quicken recovering from stroke. Check our tips below to learn how to recover from stroke quickly.
Strokes happen due to the interruption of normal blood circulation inside the brain. As a consequence, brain cells start to lack oxygen. The death of brain cells might be a matter of minutes, so patients must receive emergency care immediately. That's why EMRs always get down to life-saving treatment right on the way to the hospital.
Generally, patients fall victim to three types of stroke – hemorrhagic, ischemic, and transient ischemic attack (TIA):
Hemorrhagic stroke stems from the eruption of blood vessels, causing intracerebral bleeding. High blood pressure and aneurysm cause such.
Ischemic strokes occur in 87% of cases and happen due to blood flow blockage. Neurologists differentiate this disease into thrombotic and embolic strokes. The first kind typically endangers elderly people with diabetes and/or high cholesterol. In contrast, the second one stems from heart diseases like atrial fibrillation.
TIA, aka ministroke, poses a minor danger. TIA is connected with minute blood flow interruption. But blood clots usually get quickly dissolved in the bloodstream. Recovering from stroke like this should also be attended to, but it doesn’t imply treating a long-term impairment.
The World Stroke Organization (WSO) admits that cerebral thrombosis and embolism are the second leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States, more than 795,000 people annually end up in emergency rooms with stroke. The most disturbing fact is that nearly 1 in 4 get hospitalized due to recurrent seizures.
This is why CDC tries to raise awareness among citizens on how to deal with a stroke patient at home. For instance, the organization provides stroke patient education resources to update the public on how to recover from stroke quickly.
Negligence of medical advice, adverse habits, and current chronic diseases multiply the risks of getting a stroke. Diminishing the impact of the following factors will help you decrease the likelihood of stroke and will give you an insight into how to recover from stroke quickly.
Smoking. Smoking 20 cigarettes daily makes a person six times more likely to have a stroke.
High Blood Pressure. On average, hypertension increases the chances of cerebral apoplexy 3-4 times.
High Cholesterol. Reducing your total and LDL cholesterol levels is vital to lessen initial risks and boost post-stroke recovery.
Being Overweight. Overweight people have twice higher chances of ending up with a stroke. On top of that, recovering from stroke takes much longer for them.
Diabetes and other severe chronic diseases. High blood sugar increases blood density which might result in blood clots forming.
Besides knowing how to deal with a stroke patient at home, it’s also crucial to spot and recognize warning signs of disease development:
The feeling of one-sided numbness and weakness of the face, arm, or leg (typically in their left body);
Severe and sudden headaches;
Coordination and balance problems, dizziness;
Slurred speech and impaired cognition;
Vision worsening: dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes;
Fainting or seizure.
Such symptoms might appear days before the stroke, so it's vital to detect them and respond timely to prevent the grave condition. If you or your close ones have been dealing with hypertension, headaches, and high cholesterol levels for a while, you better visit your doctor for a checkup.
A common prevention practice is undergoing a carotid ultrasound. It helps to detect whether neck arteries contain dangerously large cholesterol-filled plaques. Stroke prevention is essential for stroke survivors. As many as 5 to 14 percent of them have a second episode within one year despite recovering from a previous one. But systematic health and symptoms monitoring can help you prevent the disease from reoccurrence.
Eating healthy, adding moderate physical exercises into daily activities, and sticking with prescribed medication – are the three keystones to recovering from stroke. On top of that, family caregivers should also practice speech and occupational therapy.
Let’s see how all treatment components should add up.
Opt out of high-sodium foods, which are condiments: ketchup, soy sauce, jarred salsa, etc. Plan daily meals to ensure a balanced share of lean meat or fish, whole grains, fat-free dairy products, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Being selective and prudent about what you eat considerably benefits recovering from stroke. This way, you’ll manage to control your body weight, decrease your cholesterol level, and reduce blood pressure.
PT and OT physicians know exactly how to recover from stroke quickly. They evaluate patients' capabilities and determine the key impairments to be worked on to let patients go on with their daily tasks. Occupational therapy aims at:
Restoring mobility so the patient can carry out self-care and simple domestic chores;
Training cognitive and motor skills to sharpen their mind and agility;
Encouraging stroke survivors not to lose heart and stay goal-focused.
Patience is a must when practicing physiotherapy at home. So make sure that your recovering relatives don’t over it. Also, check some useful tips on exercise plans for seniors that might help you.
Remember to cheer up your loved one with kind and supportive words all the way. It will give them a sense of accomplishment and motivate them to keep on track. Also, take a break from treatment and exercise routine – try some diverse indoor activities to have fun time after time.
Ok, now let’s see how to deal with a stroke patient at home to guard them against falling. The problem is that they have an issue with foot drop when stepping on, which often makes them stumble. Besides doing recovery exercises, one way to cope with that is to wear ankle foot orthotics and move with a stroller walker.
Get additional encouragement and emotional connection by joining local stroke support groups or online communities. They are full of people that have walked in your shoes and got first-hand experience regarding how to recover from stroke quickly.
Find some extra insights on how to recover from stroke quickly in the treatment plan prescribed by your physician. We strongly recommend you keep track of current therapy side effects your relative might experience and voice your concerns at each visit. Then, your doctor will update the existing care plan, and you'll know how to deal with a stroke patient at home without undesirable afflictions.
7. Welcome Even Minor Improvements
Those who know how to deal with a stroke patient at home would confirm that survivors might face a ‘plateau’ effect. Most people recover rapidly in about three months, but then their progress gets slower. That’s normal, as our bodies restore speech and cognitive skills faster than bodily motor functions.
The right thing would be not to fixate on immediate recovery. Instead, we advise you to acknowledge and celebrate every improvement.
Recovering from stroke aggravated with severe mobility impairment requires long-term, 24/7 care. Not even certified nursing assistants might know how to deal with a stroke patient at home in such circumstances. So it’s better to entrust health care to professionals at a nursing facility.
Find some additional tips from our article about bringing relatives home from long-term care.
Don’t let strokes or similar acute illnesses trap you or your loved ones. A mobile safety app like AllsWell Alert will help you set up an additional level of safety monitoring for your loved ones:
Surviving a stroke. AllsWell users can notify their relatives or nursing assistant right after they’ve noticed signs of stroke development. SOS alerts can be sent either manually or automatically if the user's device stays inactive longer than it should.
Monitor recovering from stroke. An inactivity tracker will inform you if someone has trouble performing daily activities.
Safety tracking in case a seizure occurs outdoors. You’ll make your way directly to the afflicted person thanks to precise GPS location tracking.