Stroke Care: How to Help a Parent Recover from Stroke

at Home

Posted on April 5, 2017

 

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Recovering from a stroke is a lifelong process made up of tiny steps over the course of many months and years. It is not a process with a specific time frame or goals that can be accomplished according to a set schedule. In order to help your parent recover from a stroke at home you need information and support. Recovery is a long process and the more you know the easier it will be.
 
Going home from the hospital or rehabilitation center may be the hardest thing your loved one will do after a stroke. When your parent comes home you will be able to determine the full extent of their limitations as they try to carry out activities of daily living. Entering familiar surroundings will bring memories of all the things he or she loves and wants to do; some of which may not be possible due to the impairments of the stroke. Your parent must also try to apply the skills learned in rehab to the home environment. These factors make returning home a time fraught with emotion and frustration. Encouragement is key at this time. Remind your parent that the first step is coming home and that together you can work toward resuming beloved activities.
 
As a caregiver, you must prepare yourself for the road ahead as well. It can be difficult to adjust to the fact that your parent can no longer do some things for themselves. It can be disconcerting to watch him or her struggle to do simple things like walk, talk or get a glass of water. You may have to give up your free time and the ability to do things that you enjoy. It will help if you seek out support for yourself immediately through stroke support groups, and set up a personal support network of friends and family who can share some of the caregiving responsibilities. It is important to take stroke recovery one day at a time.
 
Make sure that the home environment is safe and easy for your parent to navigate. Make sure that walkways outside the house are smooth and well lit. Make sure that indoor traffic patterns are wide, clear and non-slip. Grab bars beside the tub and toilet are essential and night lights are a must-have throughout the house.
 
Information is power and you are going to need lots of it as you help your parent recover from a stroke at home. Start by scheduling a follow-up appointment for your parent with his or her primary care physician, they’ll be able to give you important information to about how to approach post-stroke and identy signs of stroke. Ask about support services available at the hospital and in your community. Talk to the doctor about whether your parent qualifies for visiting nurse services or other types of at-home clinical support. Then ask if you can speak to the social worker at the hospital in order to get a list of all the community support services that you might access.
 
Inquire about specific types of programs in your area including Meals on Wheels that delivers hot meals to the home, adult day care with activities that can support your loved one’s recovery, and at-home care agencies that can provide highly trained caregivers with specific skills to help youcare for a parent after a stroke. You will also want to check on local transportation services that can take wheelchair users and others on errands such as shopping or doctor’s visits.

 

Are you ready to get started?

Home Care Assistance can help you or a loved one today.

Contact us now for your complimentary in-home consultation


 

 

5 Tips to Prevent Dementia Related Falls

Posted on April 3, 2017

 

 

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Those who suffer with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have an increased risk of falling. Problems with vision, balance and depth perception increase dementia-related falls. Considering the fact that they can lead to broken bones and even head injuries, it is extremely important to prevent dementia-related falls before they occur.
 
If your loved one is at risk of falling, “fall-proof” is a term you should become familiar with. Just as you once “child-proofed” your home to remove hazards for toddlers, now you are going to make sure that your home is safe from hazards that might cause falls.
 
Here are five ways that you can prevent dementia-related falls and fall-proof your loved one’s home:
 
1. Make sure exterior walkways are safe. It’s important to address exterior walkways to ensure that your loved one can enter and exit the home safely. Pay attention to the following issues:

  • Ensure adequate lighting and increase it as much as possible with high voltage bulbs at every door and walkway
  • Limit shadows that may cause trip and falls
  • Keep pathways and the driveway in good repair, free of cracked pavement and different levels that can cause falls
  • Make sure the driveway and walkway are clear of ice and snow
  • Paint the outside stairs with a mixture of paint and sand for good traction
  • Paint the step edges a contrasting color to make it easy to see where to step. Do not use black. Dementia causes black to be read as a black hole

 
2. Maximize light in the bedrooms and hallways. Trips and falls can occur easily in the middle of the night when seniors may not think to turn the
lights on before venturing to the bathroom or downstairs for a drink of water.

  • Place night lights in every outlet in the bedroom and hallway
  • Buy glow-in-the-dark light switches for every bedroom and hallway
  • Install lights in dark closets. Bright, inexpensive lights with sticky strips on the back area available at hardware and big box stores
  • Insist that your loved one opens the curtains during the day to take advantage of natural light
  • If there are unused bedrooms on the same floor as your loved one’s bedroom, install low voltage light bulbs with automatic timers. The low light at night will help to illuminate the hallway.

 
3. Use visual contrast and safety devices to prevent falls. Visual contrast can help to prevent falls and to make certain tasks easier throughout the household. For example:

  • Use a non-slip bath mat that is a different color from the tub
  • Install a contrasting color toilet seat; raised toilet seats are best
  • Install handrails and grab bars in the bathroom that contrast with the color of the wall
  • Apply brightly colored, non-slip tape on the edge of each interior stair
  • Place furniture against a contrasting wall
  • Use a bath chair or bath bench

 
4. Keep all interior traffic patterns clear. Clutter is the enemy! Make sure that all surfaces are free of clutter.

  • Remove all piles and clutter from all entryways, floors, and tables
  • Remove scatter rugs
  • Replace uneven flooring and replace or remove ripped carpets
  • Remove all low pieces of furniture that may cause a trip hazard, such as low tables, plant and magazine stands
  • Use a simple furniture arrangement that is easy to walk around

 
5. Increase accessibility and reduce reaching. Reaching up to grab a plate or reaching across to turn off a light can cause imbalance and lead to falls. That’s why it’s important to make everything as easily accessible as possible.

  • Keep important items like glasses, the TV remote and keys in consistent, visible, easy-to-reach places
  • Make sure the bedside lamp can be easily reached when your loved one is in bed
  • Place dishes and glasses that are used daily in easy to reach places
  • Label cupboards with a list of the contents
  • Keep walking aids like canes and walkers in easily accessible places where they won’t become trip and fall hazards
  • Keep emergency contact numbers by the phone in large print

 
These tips can help you to prevent dementia-related falls and keep your loved one safe. Review them frequently and conduct monthly inventories of the house to make sure that your improvements are still in place. Even if your loved one doesn’t have dementia, fall prevention should be a priority. For more ways to prevent falls, check out our most tried and true fall prevention strategies.

 

Are you ready to get started?

Home Care Assistance can help you or a loved one today.

Contact us now for your complimentary in-home consultation:


 

Safe activities for seniors during stroke recovery

Modern statistics illustrate that Strokes are Australia’s second largest destroyer after heart attacks. One in six people will have a stroke in their duration of life span, and few people suffer a stroke every 10 minutes. There are over six million people who have survived a stroke. Of those six million people, over four million are trying to cope with the after effects. This ratio is more for seniors while few of the times it happens in younger age. Let us go through few actions which are helpful to seniors from recovering stroke.

Stroke Recovery Activities:

  1. Follow Expert Advice :

It is fundamental to schedule regular doctor’s appointments; stroke patients frequently need to visit their neurologists once every six weeks during the early stages of recovery, though many fail to obey with suggested follow-up appointments. Your primary care doctor is necessary to recovery and can make sure medication needs and health issues are addressed accurately.

  1. Acquire Some Exercise :

Exercise in several forms is significant for recovery. The coordination of movements brings about helpful emotions to brain. Even swaying side-to-side or rocking mobile parts of the body helps increase blood flow and is likely to make patients feel better. With your physicians advice, consider going for some short walks. The Blue Mountain’s beautiful surroundings are best seen by foot, making a short constitutional good for the body and the soul.

  1. Dancing Movement Therapy :

A lot of seniors find tender dance classes pleasant, with many aged care facilities offering these as regular activities. These physical fitness classes boost stability and flexibility, and they give seniors the opportunity to relate with others. Even swaying to slow music can be favorable and advisable for stroke recovery.

  1. Escape through Art :

The brain is strength and when its verbal communication centers are down you can inspire it through color, texture and movement. For Example, if the fine motor skills required to hold a paintbrush are deficient, reorganize your approach to art. Just arranging stuff into collages and patterns or drawing in the sand with fingertips can be useful.

  1. Mirror Therapy :

It is a tremendous choice for stroke survivors with limited agility in a single arm. During a therapy session, the senior will look into a mirror at a certain viewpoint so it seems as if the affected arm is working just like the unaffected arm. Eventually, the brain creates fresh neurons and begins to heal itself.

  1. Reading :

Reading can be a difficult task for seniors, such as the incapability to turn the pages or hold books in their hands. Make reading enjoyable again by doing it as a group activity. Have family and friends take turns reading through books or magazines.

  1. Learn Something New :

There no need to go back school again, it might be you choose a hobby like gardening or bird watching. You may also wish for acquire a new skill—mostly one that helps with language recovery, such as practicing sign language or typing. Inspiring new areas of the brain gets things moving. In home care offers a fantastic opportunity for this, allowing you to share the learning process with a carer – or to learn from them.

  1. Play Music :

Hearing a beat can develop the attitude and point of view of stroke patients. It’s also a great way to maximize the potential for re-learning harmonized movements and to work on balance. Express yourself in any possible way, whether it be through syncopated tapping and conducting to the radio, or even just deep breathing in time to the music. Language and music are stored in unusual areas of the brain and someone who struggles with the verbal word may have no trouble with singing a song. Singing is good exercise to refresh your mind & improve your verbal communication.

  1. Playing Video Games :

Strokes not simply have an impact on physical health, but they can also effect in long-term brain harm. Playing computer games can build up cognitive abilities and create new neural pathways. Seniors who don’t own computers or video games can get the identical benefits from playing mobile games on their smart phones or tablets.

  1. Meditation :

The objective of mindfulness meditation is to overcome ordinary insecurities by focusing on breathing. Seniors who are having a hard time meditating can try playing music or turning on a white noise machine. Meditation can also help to remove negative thoughts, worries, nervousness, and factors that can prevent us feeling happy. It has been proved that to result of meditation, carried out on a regular basis, will mitigate the symptoms of stress and worry.

Hence, Family caregivers should support their loved ones to engage in give certain activities that can help restore their abilities and prevent future strokes.

10 signs of Dementia: Early warnings

The disease of Dementia is an amount of symptoms that can happen due to a range of potential diseases. Dementia symptoms comprise impairments in thought, language, communication, focusing and memory.

In most of cases Dementia occur at age of 65-69, but it does happen after age of 26 years which is known as “Young-onset dementia”. Let us go through the early warnings in brief.

1. Slight Short-term memory changes: Problem with memory can be an early symptom of dementia. The changes are frequently delicate and tend to involve short-term memory. It also include forgetting where they left an item or thing, stressed to remember why they entered a particular room, or forgetting what they were supposed to do at the moment. A person tries to struggling with thoughts of mind & tries not to forget anything; a person creates Confusion about time and place.

2. Trouble finding the right words: One earlier symptom is struggling to communicate thoughts or words. A person with dementia may have difficulty explaining something or finding the right words to express themselves. Having a conversation with a person who has dementia can be tricky, and it may take longer than usual to conclude. They may repeat words again and again; & trying to communicate what they can no longer say with words.

3. Confusion: In the earlier stages, memory loss and confusion may be mild. After some stages, memory loss becomes far harsher. A person may not identify family members or friends, may not remember relationships, call family members by other names, or become confused about the location of home or the passage of time. Such type of behavior is sometimes incorrectly referred to as "senility" or "senile dementia". These changes are some of the most painful for caregivers and families. 

4. Struggling to adapt to change: In such stages of dementia, the incident can cause panic. Suddenly, they can’t remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They can’t remember why they went to the place where they are, and they get lost on the way home. Due to this, they might need routine and be scared to try new experiences. Difficulty adapting to change is also a typical symptom of early dementia.

5. Changes in mood: At one stage, the person with dementia might become angry, possibly slamming things around and shouting. This can be very shocking. In addition to this, angry outbursts can cause upset in the household. For the person with dementia, the anger may be the only way they have of expressing something. Otherwise, they may be angry at having had to ask you to do something that they could have earlier managed to do alone. However, even if the cause of the anger is unidentified, it is possible to take steps to reduce the frequency of angry outbursts. 

6. A worsening sense of direction: The common sense of direction and spatial orientation usually starts to get worse with the beginning of dementia. This can mean not recognizing once-familiar landmarks and forgetting regularly used directions. It also becomes more difficult to follow a sequence of guidelines and step-by-step instructions. 

7. Reduce Concentration: In Dementia, person may lose concentration in daily life. It becomes a concern when the incapability to concentrate and focus on a stimulus impedes your ability to get something done. You might locate that background noise, your phone, or your own thoughts get in the way of working.

8. Challenges in Solving Problems: A person in dementia may experience changes in their ability to expand and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have problem following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.

9. Decreased or Poor Judgment: In earlier symptom of Dementia, a person experience changes in judgment or decisionmaking. Like, they may use poor judgment when dealing with business. They may pay less concentration to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

10. Apathy: Apathy, or slowness, commonly occurs in early dementia. A person with symptoms could lose interest in hobbies or activities. They may not want to go out any longer nor does anything fun. They may lose interest in spending time with friends and family, and they may seem expressively flat.