How to Provide Home Care for a Stroke Patient with 9 Helpful Tips

 What Is A Stroke? 

Cerebro vascular attack
Cerebro Vascular Attack
Stroke in medical term is defined as Cerebro vascular attack or CVA in short. It causes death of brain cells, the neurons. 

The cause of CVA is attributed to loss of blood supply which may be due to any blockage or rupture of the blood vessel which carries the blood to brain. 

Patient suffering from stroke or CVA may present with loss of consciousness, weakness, paralysis and speech and cognitive impairments. This article is focused on how to treat and care a stroke patient at home. What all precautions and safety measures we should adopt to prevent its recurrence. How we can prevent secondary complications such as muscle contracture and how we can augment faster recovery.

So let’s start with the types of CVA. This will provide a brief understanding about the severity of the stroke.  

CVA can be classified into three types mainly:

Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA): It is mild form of stroke. There is only a brief disruption of blood supply to the brain. Patient has minor symptoms which typically last for 24 hours. However, patient with a history of TIA are on high risk of stroke or CVA.

Ischaemic Stroke: As the name suggests, it occurs when there is blockage of blood and oxygen supply to the brain. Ischaemic Stroke is the most common type of stroke and its symptoms are severe as compared to TIA.

Haemorrhagic Stroke: This type of stroke occurs due to rupture of the blood vessels. The loss of blood supply causes death of brain cells. In addition, the bleeding in the surrounding area increases swelling which in turn results in more loss of brain cells. Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) are two subdivisions of Hemorrhagic stroke.

Symptoms of Stroke

Here are some common symptoms only which are seen in stroke patient. The symptoms may vary depending on which part or area of brain is affected by stroke. The severity of symptoms may also depend on the pre-existing conditions like diabetes or any other neuromuscular condition.

  • Face drop
  • Muscles weakness
  • Decrease mobility
  • Difficulties in swallowing 
  • Difficulties in speaking 
  • Difficulties in walking 
  • Lack of coordination
  • Poor balance
  • Inability to perform daily activities

The disabilities occurring due to stroke may be temporary or permanent. It depends on the duration of lack of blood flow to the brain and which part of the brain is affected. 

These 9 tips can help in management and care of stroke patient at home.

  1. Know the Medications: Stroke patients are prescribed various drugs depending upon the condition. It may include diuretics, beta blockers, antidresent and/or anticoagulants etc. Take a note of the schedule and dose of every drug properly. In addition, to this please be cautious about to which type of drug the patient is allergic. It needs to be brought into healthcare provider’s notice. 
  2. Adaptations: One sided paralysis which is called hemiplegia is a typical clinical representation seen in stroke patient. They lack muscle power and coordination. Spasticity and restrictive range of motion may also hinder many day to day activities. Therefore, home, environment and even utensils should be modified according to the patient’s need. For example the pathway should be clear of any kind of hurdle; the floor needs to be dry and clean to avoid slippage.
  3. Be cautious for Recurrence: Data shows that recurrence is seen in almost 25% strokes that occur annually in the United States. Some of the risk factors for ischemic stroke are hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, and obesity. Diet modifications and change in life style should be encouraged. Tobacco cessation, reduction in alcohol use, and appropriate physical activity play an important role to reduce the recurrence of stroke.  
  4. Physical therapy: Physical or occupational therapists play a big role in stroke rehabilitation. From passive range of motion to active range of motion, strengthening and coordination, management of spasticity and prevention of muscle contracture are some of the goal on which physical therapist needs to focus. Apart from this the goal of a physical therapy is to promote balancing and walking to fulfil activities of daily living. Therefore, consult a qualified Physical or occupational therapists as soon as possible for better results and recovery of the stroke patient.
  5. Avoid falls: Lack of balance and coordination increase the risk of fall in stroke patient. Fall results in pain, bruising or bleeding. It also decrease the motivation to walk and roam around the home. Frequent fall may also increase depression. Take extra care to prevent the fall. Provide support while sitting and avoid slippery flooring when patient walks. You can also apply bars and handle in the home where necessary for grip and support.
  6. Avoid Contractures: Stroke patients demonstrate poor posture due to muscle weakness and lack of coordination. Spasticity is a common feature observed in stroke patient. It is involuntarily contraction of muscle and causes stiffness of muscles. It commonly affects the elbow, wrist, hand and ankle. Spasticity may cause contracture of muscle. Try to keep the elbow straight as much as possible. Put a ball in the affected hand to prevent contracture of wrist and hand. Positional support and weight bearing should be encouraged for foot and ankle.
  7. Psychological Support: Emotional and behavioural changes are commonly seen in patient with stroke. Stroke patient may exhibit confusion, anger, anxiety and/or loss of control on emotions. Cognitive impairment and loss of function due to stroke is a contributor for this. Psychological consultation is recommended if there are severe emotional and behavioural changes observed. Stroke patient need to be motivated as much as possible. They should be encouraged on each and every achievement they get on the course of their functional rehabilitation. Depression after stoke is not only seen in patients but it also affects their family members and caregivers. It may persist for months or even years. Psychological consultation and support is seen to be helpful both for patient and family members.
  8. Have Patience
    Have Patience: Stroke brings neurological damage and hence impairments and functional limitations. The recovery in stroke patients largely depends on the extent of the neurological insult. It is seen that recovery is rapid during the first three to six months after a stroke. However, functional improvement is ongoing process and stroke patients continue to recover well into the first and second year after their stroke.
  9. Take care of yourself: Last but not the least. Care giver or family member should take care of him/her self. They should be strong both at psychological and physical level. Avoid negative thoughts and talks. Have positive attitude towards patient and the path of recovery. Eat healthy, do some exercise and take adequate rest.

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  1. It's very important to support the recovery and care of someone who has had a stroke so it was really good to see the suggestions included here. Really helpful post — thanks for sharing!

  2. Posts like these are always quite scary but also important to know about. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. This is a very informative post. Taking care of those sick and suffering physically I'm be very difficult for the care giver. Patience is vital as much as self care too. Thank you for sharing. 🤗

    Pastor Natalie (Examine This Moment)

  4. Regaining strength may take a while! Don't get discouraged, keep working at your exercises. Recovery takes a lot of repetition over time:)

  5. An important topic, thanks for sharing information about stroke symptoms and care tips. Stroke is the leading cause of death worldwide, and can be very disabling for stroke survivors. My husband had a ruptured brain aneurysm with a subarachnoid hemorrhage when he was 55. Although he survived, his memory was severely affected.

  6. Really important advice here. My Granddad had a big stroke when I was a kid and it completely affected his speech so throughout my whole life, I never knew what my Granddad really sounded like.


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