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How to Care for a Stroke Patient at Home

A stroke can have a huge impact on a person’s life and the lives of their loved ones. While the condition may be recoverable, it can also cause long term brain injury and disability that requires on-going support and specialist complex care. A stroke can affect a person in a number of different ways, including physically, emotionally and cognitively and that’s why highly personalised and well-rounded care is essential for a person to live at home as independently as possible.

This blog will provide guidance on how to care for a stroke patient at home and how our our nurse-led stroke and brain injury care helps support those in living their life to the fullest.

What causes a stroke?

A stroke is classed as an acquired brain injury and is caused by the brain’s blood and oxygen supply being cut off which can result in brain injury or long term brain damage.

There are two main types of stroke, the most common is an ischaemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot blocking oxygen and blood from travelling to the brain. Over time fatty deposits called plaques build up and narrow a person’s arteries, increasing the risk of blood clots developing in what is known as atherosclerosis and thus causing a stroke.

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that can also trigger an ischaemic stroke. The condition is categorised by an irregular heartbeat which causes a higher risk of  blood clots, leading to a stroke.

A hemorrhagic stroke is the second type of stroke and is sometimes known as cerebral haemorrhage or intracranial haemorrhage. This is when a blood vessel bursts in the brain, causing a bleed.

Recovery after a stroke

Recovery from a stroke will vary depending on the severity of the injury to the brain and can take weeks, months or years. However some people who have sustained a stroke will require lifelong complex care in order to continue to live in-home.

At HFH, we are experts in brain injury care, including for those who have experienced a stroke, helping clients regain their independence and quality of life on their return home from hospital.

How to care for a stroke patient at home

The fact that a stroke affects the brain often means that the impact is complex and will affect every person differently. Therefore, in-home care must be highly individualised to each person’s own conditions and the unique challenges they face.

Physical changes after a stroke

There are many physical changes that can happen to a person following a stroke that require a specialist complex care plan, including:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Weakness of limbs or paralysis down one side of the body
  • Restricted movement
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulty swallowing or inability to swallow
  • Impaired vision

These physical symptoms can make day to day life and activities difficult. Personal care, such as dressing, washing and eating, are some of the most common ways in which a stroke patient will need to be cared for.

If a person’s symptoms are severe, specialist care, including enteral feeding, airway and respiratory care or bowel management, may be required as part of their care package. 24 hour care may also be required for a person to safely live at home while they are recovering from a stroke. At HFH, we provide round-the-clock complex care to our clients through our expertly trained live-in carers.

Emotional changes after a stroke

As with many acquired brain injuries, a stroke does not only affect a person physically but emotionally and cognitively as well. A stroke can cause changes in mood, personality and cognitive function, which can be difficult for both the person and their loved ones to adapt to. This can include:

  • Irritability
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Difficulty learning new skills
  • Lack of concentration

When considering how to care for a stroke patient at home, a supportive and empathetic approach is key to making the transition back to daily life as comfortable as possible.

At HFH we offer compassionate support creating care teams that are carefully matched to our clients’ personalised needs and preferences at every stage of their journey.

Communication issues

Impaired speech and difficulty communicating is a common symptom experienced by people who have sustained a stroke. Not only can a stroke make it difficult for a person to speak, but it can also hinder their ability to understand others.

Being able to effectively communicate is essential for stroke patients, both to ensure their safety and to make sure that care is being delivered on their terms. At HFH we use a wide variety of communication tools and assistive devices to make it easier for patients to communicate at home with their carers, family and friends.

Supporting recovery, rehabilitation and daily life

When a person returns home from hospital following a stroke they will need support in order to get back into their daily life and reintegrate with their community. Many people who have had a stroke recover either partly or fully through rehabilitation, such as speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

At HFH we support our clients in meeting their rehab goals through comprehensive care. We also work with stroke patients in-home to ensure that they can continue on with their daily life in the best way possible, helping them with their work, study and social lives as part of our full rounded care plans.

How HFH can help

We provide expert complex care care that is always nurse-led. This means that all our carers are clinically trained by our team of experienced nurses to provide the highest quality of care at all times.

We are person-focused to ensure that our care is delivered in a way that is best suited to our clients and their loved ones and always tailored to individuals’ specific needs, so they can truly thrive.

If you would like to find out more about our stroke and brain injury services and the type of complex care we can provide then get in touch with our friendly team today.

1 Comment

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