Strokes remain one of the leading causes of death and disability in Australia. According to Australia’s Stroke Foundation, there’s an average of one stroke every 10 minutes. Two-thirds of those who have strokes survive and begin the recovery process. The time frame for recovery depends on a variety of factors, including age, gender, overall health, and the amount of damage caused by the vascular accident. Here are a few things to consider regarding the time frame for stroke recovery.
The First Week
After the medical team determines and corrects the cause of the stroke, therapists evaluate the extent of disability. They may perform passive range-of-motion therapy to prevent contractures and muscle atrophy. Position changes every two hours are necessary to prevent pressure sores. The length of time a senior remains in the hospital after a stroke depends on the location of the vascular accident and the extent of the damage.
This is the best time to plan ahead for your loved one’s return home. 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 carers can turn to Erina 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.
The Second Week
Research reveals the brain has a high level of plasticity following a stroke. Occupational and physical therapists take advantage of this knowledge by working closely with seniors and teaching the exercises necessary for recovery. If needed, therapists help stroke survivors relearn how to dress, feed themselves, use the bathroom, and perform personal hygiene while increasing mobility of the affected limb or limbs. Speech therapy also begins. Many seniors experience up to 50 percent improvement during this time.
Three Months Later
During this time, seniors may become frustrated as their recovery seems to slow. However, this phase of recovery is known as the plateau period and isn’t unexpected. Stroke survivors commonly switch from receiving inpatient rehab to outpatient rehab. Varying rehabilitation techniques at home helps the brain overcome obstacles. The greater the effort applied to rehabilitation, the better the results.
A professional care worker can help your loved one follow a safe, effective rehabilitation plan during recovery. 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. Erina, NSW, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in care worker, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while ageing in place.
Six Months Later
Regaining the ability to walk is one of the more challenging aspects of recovery for stroke survivors. However, by this time, between 65 and 85 percent of seniors are able to walk on their own, thanks to rehabilitation efforts. Leg strength training and walking on a treadmill are some of the therapy techniques used to help stroke survivors walk again.
One Year Later
Seniors who have had minor strokes are often fully recovered by the one-year anniversary of the incident. Stroke survivors who experience some type of aphasia are also now beginning to talk again after intensive speech therapy.
Two Years Later
The hands and feet affected by a stroke are commonly the last to demonstrate improvement. However, this doesn’t mean recovery is over. Seniors must continue working with therapists and strive at home to gain as much mobility as possible.
10 Years Later
Some seniors may not have recovered as expected due to a lack of consistency in their therapeutic routines. However, improvements have been shown to be a possibility even years after the stroke. Brain plasticity remains, which makes it possible for neurons to build more communication pathways to enable a greater degree of function.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while ageing in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care services. Our care workers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Call us today at (02) 4363 5090 to learn about our high-quality in-home aged care services.