According to data from the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), stroke is a major cause of adult disability (with about 800,000 people in the US suffering from a stroke annually). A stroke occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain is blocked. Symptoms of strokes include numbness of the face, arms, or legs; trouble speaking or understanding speech; and difficulty seeing. Strokes can result in paralysis, loss of speech or vision, memory loss and brain damage, which is why it’s so important that they are addressed immediately with emergency medical care – and every second counts. Roughly 23% of strokes occur in patients who have previously had a stroke. Recovery after a stroke, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to help prevent future strokes, can be achieved – and home health care can play a key role.
The impact of a stroke can be different for everyone. There are a number of variables that determine the effects of a stroke on a person’s overall health, including not only where in the brain the stroke occurred, but what the person’s general health is and their body’s ability to recover.
After a stroke, some patients may experience weakness, paralysis, imbalance, pain, numbness, reduced memory or critical thinking skills, and exhaustion, depending on the severity and the part of the brain that’s impacted. Speech issues can cause frustration for both patients and their families. The fear that follows a serious medical situation like a stroke (such as a family member’s reduced functioning in the home and taking on the role of caretaker) can create physical and emotional stress for families. That’s why Premier provides its staff and caregivers with specialty training in post stroke care – so they know how to handle the difficult situations that may arise from a stroke.
As stroke.org explains, caregiving and recovery at home can promote positive outcomes for the patient and family, but it can cause stress, as well as the disruption of employment and family life. Adding home health care can enable family members to return to work knowing that their family member has care in the home.
As we discussed in our Checklist: Returning Home from a Hospital Stay, there are steps that families can take to prepare their home for a family member returning from the hospital after a stroke. Seeing to the safety of any patient is paramount, and home health care aides can help ensure the home environment is safe, and also establish important routines for medical care.
Similar to recovery from knee or hip replacement surgery, physical therapy may be required for stroke patients, and home health care can play an important role in managing visits from physical therapists in the home. Exercise routines and healthy diets to help in an effective recovery can also be managed through home health care. Premier provides at-home physical therapy services to patients based in Manhattan to enable faster recovery and increased mobility.
Home health aides can also observe if patients show any signs of problems in the course of their recovery, and note any warning signs of a future stroke event. Home health aides can also work with the patient and their family to be aware of the warning signs themselves and when to dial 911 for help. According to a 2005 survey, only 38% of those surveyed knew all of the major symptoms of a stroke and when to call 911. Premier’s home health aides are specially trained in caring for patients who have suffered from strokes, so you can rest assured knowing your loved one is in good hands.
Not only can home health care help in managing short-term recovery care, it can play a vital role in long-term care and preventive care. Home health care can deliver preventive care in a person’s home, which will afford them independence and allow them to be empowered to play a role in their own care.
Our Starter Guide can also help answer further questions you may have about the role home health care can play in the health and safety of your loved one. To speak to us now about the Premier Home Health Care difference, please call 1-866-648-5119.