The Stroke Awareness Foundation reports more than 795,000 people experience strokes every year. More than 60 percent of these individuals are over the age of 65. Hundreds of thousands of people assume caregiving duties for their recovering senior loved ones. The stroke caregiver role presents a number of difficult challenges.
Meeting a Variety of Needs
Two-thirds of stroke survivors experience some form of disability. A senior’s speech, vision, and mobility may be affected. A potential family caregiver must know from the outset how the stroke has affected his or her elderly parent. The caregiver must then assess whether he or she has the emotional, mental, and physical ability to handle the senior’s needs. A senior experiencing a loss of purposeful movement on one side of the body may be restricted to a wheelchair for a while and require assistance with bathing, dressing, and other personal care. Someone must provide physical support on the affected side so the senior can sit up, stand, and transfer to and from chairs. In addition, a family caregiver will need to perform household chores and meal preparation in addition to handling finances.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Stroke survivors have a high risk of falling. Pathways to and from rooms must be clear to accommodate a wheelchair, walker, or electric scooter. If your loved one is able to ambulate with an assistive device, loose flooring and throw rugs must be removed. Grab bars and nonslip surfaces must be installed in bathrooms. The toilet may require an elevated seat. Older adults living with mobility issues must have the means to alert caregivers when they need assistance, both during the day and at night. Lighting is another concern. A senior with visual deficits may lose vision in one eye or have depth perception problems.
Approximately one-third of stroke survivors experience some form of language impairment. A senior with aphasia may have difficulty finding the right words or be unable to understand speech. Some can no longer speak due to apraxia or dysarthria. Memory loss may also affect verbal ability. You and your loved one must devise a means of communication that works for both of you. Hand signals, pictograms, or a talking dictionary may be of assistance.
Professional caregivers can be a fantastic source of information and support for families of seniors recovering from strokes. The type of home care service Montgomery, AL, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
Managing Behavioral Changes
Statistics indicate between 30 and 50 percent of stroke survivors develop depression. Seniors often grieve the losses caused by their strokes. Aging stroke survivors can become frustrated and saddened when recovery doesn’t happen as quickly as desired, and they may easily become angered, burst into tears, or exhibit other mood changes. The damage that occurs in the part of the brain that governs mood also commonly causes unexpected behavior and personality changes.
Focusing on Self-Care Needs
Caregivers who neglect to take care of themselves are at increased risk for burnout. You must follow a healthy diet, get sufficient sleep, remain physically fit, and make time for relaxation. Also realize you need a solid support team.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Montgomery, AL, 24-hour care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.