Caring for an elderly parent is difficult, but caring for an elderly parent after they have had a stroke can be physically and emotionally draining. Not only is it the third leading cause of death in the United States, but a stroke is also the leading cause of disability. During their recovery, your parent may not be able to speak, walk, or complete ordinary tasks each day, but help is available for your parent and yourself. If your parent has recently suffered a stroke, proper understanding of their needs during recovery is imperative. Here are a few tips that will help you and your parent during their recovery after a stroke.
Equip Your Home
A stoke affects the brain's ability to balance and use coordination skills, so they will most likely struggle walking, bathing, getting dressed, and even using the bathroom. This struggle increases their risk of falls, which can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
Even if you are available to help your parent with these tasks, they will want to keep some of their independence. Therefore, equipping your home with a few essential safety aids is important.
In the bathroom, install safety bars in the tub/shower area and next to the toilet. Rubber mats or grips inside the tub are also helpful for preventing slips and falls.
In their bedroom, consider rails next to the bed. This will help your parent get in and out of bed comfortably.
If your parent is unable to walk easily after their stroke, make sure to invest in mobility aids. Canes, walkers, and mobility scooters are all beneficial so your parent can move around the home without a great deal of assistance from others.
Invest In Professionals
Depending on your parent's specific needs, bringing professionals into the home can be helpful for a more efficient and effective recovery. In-home care will also be helpful to you, since it will allow you to complete your own tasks outside the home. Allowing professionals from a place like Ameristaff Nursing Services to come into the home to help your parent will give you the time to work, go to school, or complete basic errands.
In-home nurses are available to supervise your parent or help them with bathing, grooming, and other daily needs.
In some instances, your parent may require physical therapy after their stroke. Physical therapy involving light exercises and stretches will balance and coordination. Occupational therapists will also help your parent relearn how to complete basic tasks for dressing, bathing, and eating.
Speech therapy and mental health counseling are also professional services to consider for your parent's recovery.
It is important to note that you may believe these in-home services are too expensive. Fortunately, most insurance companies and government assistance programs will pay for all or a portion of these services because they are considered medically necessary.
Caring for your parent after a stroke can be physically and emotionally stressful, but this distress will affect both you and your parent. Using the above tips will ensure your parent receives the care they need, so you will need to find care for your own health and wellness.
Make sure to utilize professional help that can come to the home when possible. Also, if friends and family offer to help in any way, accept it with gratitude. Lastly, consider visiting a support group. These groups allow you to vent and learn tips and tricks to help cope with the physical, emotional, and financial distress associated with caregiving.
A stroke will wreak havoc on your parent's life, but you can support them through a successful recovery. With these simple tips, you and your parent will be able to recover in a safe, efficient, and effective manner.