How The Right Level Of Care After A Stroke Can Improve The Chances Of Independent Living

Posted on: 22 June 2015

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Regardless of age, regaining independence after a stroke depends heavily on the type of care and rehabilitation that is received. For some people, that rehabilitation may begin in the hospital and continue at home with the help of home health care providers. For others, a live-in rehabilitation facility can help greatly improve the patient's quality of life and make independent living a reality once again. Here are a few ways that the right level of care can greatly improve the chances for independent living after a stroke.

The power of social interaction

After a stroke, patients may feel frustrated and unable to communicate with others. There may be a tendency to withdraw from social interaction after a stroke, but studies show that social interaction can improve a stroke patient's quality of life and help rebuild and grow nervous system tissues. In elderly patients, this can be doubly important, because depression is a leading factor in mortality rates after a stroke.

Live-in rehabilitation centers and independent living facilities meet more than just the physical needs of a recovering stroke patient; they can also meet the social and emotional needs of the patients. For stroke victims who don't have close friends or family members that are able to visit regularly, live-in facilities provide the care that is needed as well as the social stimulation needed to encourage recovery.

Safety after a stroke

Many stroke patients try to continue living at home independently after a stroke, but depending on the severity of the stroke, this may not be a wise decision. Safety is a big issue for stroke victims, since weakened muscles and poor coordination can lead to serious accidents in the home. Recovering stroke victims may not be able to navigate stairs, get to the bathroom without assistance, or bathe safely, but they may be able to do many other things independently.

For some stroke victims, remaining independent, even while undergoing rehabilitation, is important because it keeps their morale high. Ensuring recovery and rehabilitation occur in a safe physical environment can be difficult if the patient is at home alone for most of the day. Independent living facilities that offer rehabilitation services can be a short term solution until the stroke victim is strong enough to return to their own home, or a long-term solution for those whose homes are not safe enough.

Rehabilitation for stroke victims

Depending on the severity of the stroke, patients may require varying types of rehabilitation. The sooner a stroke victim begins rehab therapy, the better their chances of recovering their independence. This rehabilitation may be required daily for some time after the stroke, and for some people, the rehabilitation process could last for several years. Ideally, rehabilitation should be done frequently and regularly. Live-in facilities that offer rehabilitation for stroke victims can help patients get the rehab therapy needed to help make them more independent once again.

Risk of subsequent strokes

One particularly important reason that stroke victims should receive proper care and rehabilitation after a stroke is the fact that these people are at an increased risk of having another stroke. As a caregiver for a stroke victim, it's especially important that the recovering patient eats a healthy diet, receive regular medical attention, completes rehabilitation therapy and takes any medications prescribed by the doctor.

With so many aspects of stroke aftercare to be considered, it's easy to see why many family members who are caregivers may struggle to make sure that the stroke patient receives the right level of care needed to make a good recovery. This is why live-in facilities, such as independent living facilities which also offer rehabilitation services, can make a huge difference in the recovery of stroke patients.