Effects on the Brain Following a Stroke

By 8  am on

When the blood carrying oxygen is unable to get to the brain, the cells will be damaged. Some brain cells will die, even if they’re without oxygen for only a couple of minutes. As a result, seniors can lose cognitive functioning and experience paralysis. Learn how a stroke can affect your aging loved one’s brain health. 

Vision Impairment

Damage to the brain can inhibit seniors from seeing and disrupt their quality of life. The location of the stroke will typically determine which visual area is impacted. For instance, if the stroke occurs in the right hemisphere of the brain, the visual field of the right eye may be affected. 

A stroke can damage the brain stem, making it difficult for the brain to process the objects the eyes see. As a result, your loved one could have difficulty coordinating his or her focus and movement, resulting in double vision and other visual disturbances. 

Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Difficulty Moving

If a stroke is severe enough, it can damage the brain’s ability to send signals to the muscles, resulting in balance and movement issues. It’s common to experience weakness in one arm or leg after a stroke, but an entire side of the body can also be affected. 

To manage mobility issues, encourage your loved one to exercise more and participate in physical therapy. Your parent should also use walking devices when navigating the home and completing daily tasks. 

The effects of a stroke can make it difficult for a senior to live at home safely without a caregiver close by at all times. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Montgomery, AL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Challenges with Speech

A stroke can affect communication skills, making it difficult to find the right words and preventing seniors from understanding what others write or say. Speech therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat communication problems caused by a stroke. You should also promote activities that boost language and speech abilities, such as: 

  • Reading 
  • Singing 
  • Playing word-based games 
  • Doing puzzles

Poor Memory

Memory loss can follow strokes, putting seniors at higher risk for developing dementia. A stroke can negatively affect verbal, visual, and informational memory. Some of the symptoms your loved one could have include difficulty making rational decisions, confusion, short-term memory problems, and wandering. During the recovery process, your loved one should engage in brain-stimulating activities that alleviate these symptoms and boost memory. 

Eating & Swallowing Issues

Many senior stroke survivors experience dysphagia at some point during the recovery process. Dysphagia is known as paralysis of the throat, and it can make it difficult to swallow or chew. Your loved one could also have a difficult time drinking beverages and taking medications, depending on the severity of the stroke. When dysphagia isn’t managed correctly, your parent could experience poor nutrition, pneumonia, and other health issues. Cut your loved one’s foods into smaller pieces or consider pureeing and mincing meals.

A senior stroke survivor often needs very specialized care from someone with experience in providing support during stroke recovery. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elderly home care. Montgomery families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (334) 593-3988 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG

    Request Free Information or
    Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation