8 Things You Should Know After a Stroke
Strokes happen suddenly in older adults, leaving families to deal with an aftermath they are not prepared for. The first step in helping your aging relative to recover from a stroke is to learn as much about stroke and what to expect as possible. Below are 8 post-stroke facts to get you started.
1. Stroke Survivors Are at Risk for a Second Stroke.
People who have had a stroke are at a higher risk for having another. The National Stroke Association says that around 795,000 people in the U.S. have strokes each year. Of those, 185,000 are a second stroke. Because of the high risk, it’s important to take steps to prevent another, like ensuring the senior eats a healthy diet, takes their medication, and exercises.
2. Some Races Are at an Even Higher Risk for a Second Stroke.
Studies show that people who are African American or Hispanic are at greater risk of having another stroke than Caucasians. One study showed that people who had a specific kind of stroke, called a bleeding stroke, had a second stroke at the following rate:
- Caucasians: 1.7 percent.
- Hispanics: 6.1 percent.
- African Americans: 6.6 percent.
3. Stroke Rehabilitation Should Start Quickly.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic say that patients should begin rehabilitation as soon after a stroke as possible for the best results. In fact, your aging relative might start their rehabilitation program before they even get out of the hospital.
4. Stroke Recovery Takes Time.
Although the biggest gains are typically seen in the first four months after a stroke, it is possible for the senior’s condition to continue to improve for as long as two years after a stroke.
5. Stroke Survivors Often Become Depressed.
It’s not uncommon for people who have had a stroke to suffer from depression. Between 30 and 50 percent of stroke survivors experience depression. Watch for signs of depression and report them to the doctor.
6. Stroke Rehabilitation Requires a Team.
After a stroke, your older family member will likely be assigned a team of people to help with their recovery, including physical and occupational therapists, a speech therapist, a social worker, doctors, and nurses.
7. Support from Friends and Family Impacts Recovery.
The Mayo Clinic says there are several factors that impact how well a person recovers after a stroke. One of those things is the support system around them. Friends and family who provide assistance and encouragement can make a big difference.
8. Senior Care Can Complete the Support System.
Senior care can provide your loved one with another layer of support. Senior care providers can be hired through an agency to come to the older adult’s home to assist them throughout their recovery. Senior care providers can remind them to take their medication, assist with rehabilitation activities, and help them with personal care, like dressing and grooming.