Last week I shared the potential symptoms and warning signs of stroke. If you do suffer a stroke, it is critical that you take a proactive and informed approach to post-stroke care. Regardless of the severity of your stroke, actively planning for discharge and care at home can make all the difference in the rate and quality of recovery.
Prior to Discharge
- Discuss choices for rehabilitation with your discharge planner as early as possible. Weigh your options and consider your own comfort and physical, emotional and financial needs.
- Assess your abilities and identify areas in which you might need support such as mobility, household activities, transportation, etc.
- Talk to your friends and family about the level of assistance they can provide during your recovery and determine if you will need additional help from a hired caregiver.
- If you think you need outside support, contact a reputable home care provider to discuss the benefits of a caregiver and learn how he or she can help you smoothly transition home and ensure a successful recovery.
Recovering at Home
- Set goals and track your progress. Perform basic tasks as able but utilize support from family or caregivers for daily activities that pose a challenge.
- Establish a routine; create a regular schedule for exercise, mental stimulation, rest and meals. Accompanied by a caregiver, attend regular appointments with your doctors, especially your neurologist and therapist.
- To ensure proper nutrition and reduce the risk of future strokes, limit your intake of fat, cholesterol and sodium and maintain a regular meal schedule even when you may not feel hungry.
- Ease into your post-hospitalization routine by allowing your caregiver to take on household responsibilities so that you can conserve energy for a faster recovery.
- Identify and manage stress when it occurs and recognize any emotional challenges that could lead to depression.