Where you live after a stroke depends on the severity of the stroke, how independently you can live, and what kind of family support you have. Safety should always be your number one concern. For patients and caregivers, there are many options for care after your stroke. Your doctor will be able to guide the process as you leave the hospital.
After a stroke, you and your medical team will begin immediately working to restore all your mental and physical functions to pre-stroke health. Depending on the type of stroke you had and its severity, your recovery could be a matter of weeks or months.
Discharge planning will begin long before you’re ready to be discharged. The plan will include assessing your health condition, your living environment, and your available support from family and friends.
Skills and conditions that will be evaluated include:
- Muscle weakness or loss of function
- Coordination and balance
- Vision issues
- Cognitive skills or impairment – the ability to make good decisions, remember important daily activities, follow directions
- Ability to communicate your needs
- Bowel and bladder control
- Swallowing without choking
- Ability to provide self-care: getting out of bed, using the toilet, showering, brushing teeth and hair, dressing
- Ability to feed oneself, cook, get one’s own food
This is an incomplete list, but it shows that there are many everyday activities that we often take for granted until our bodies and minds don’t quite do what we want them to do.
Discharge planning will also consider other factors, such as your living environment and your support network. Your medical team and your caregiver will evaluate the home conditions to determine how easily you would be able to navigate under your current conditions, what modifications might be made to your home to accommodate you, how much help you can get from your family and friends to help you live safely at home, etc.
It’s important not to get discouraged during the recovery process and not to be impatient. Sometimes recovery takes time, and sometimes you’ll need to be in a nursing home, assisted living environment, or rehabilitation center for a period of time as you continue to recover.
While the level of care from a nursing home may not be necessary, an assisted living environment or live-in rehab center may provide you with a level of freedom and independence while still providing you with the services you need. As you continue to improve, you can transition into more and more independence and, hopefully, back to your own home.
Remember, though, that recurring strokes are very common. You will need to be very vigilant and follow your health providers’ advice on how to avoid another stroke. In the event that you do begin to have another stroke, the sooner you get medical help, the less the effect of the stroke should be.
In order to reduce the amount of time from stroke onset to medical care, Neuralert has developed a wearable wristband that quickly detects symptoms of a potential stroke, immediately alerting your designated care person to evaluate you and initiate necessary treatment.
Rapid detection of potential stroke symptoms with Neuralert is the key to starting interventions soon enough to limit permanent damage to key areas of the brain. Ask your health provider about Neuralert.