Taking care of your grandparent after a stroke

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A stroke is caused by a disturbance to the blood supply in the brain. It damages an area of the brain and can trigger serious impairment, including speech, mobility and coordination. Within the United States 700,000 people a year suffer a stroke. They can be life threatening and require immediate medical attention and expert care if ongoing disabilities are to be minimized.

Caring and recovering after a stroke

Even in the elderly, it is possible to reverse stroke damage and to rebuild a level of independence, but it requires intensive care and therapy. If you are caring for a relative, such as a grandparent after they have been released from hospital, depending on the severity of the after-effects of the stroke, you may well be facing a difficult and time consuming task.

In the early stages of recovery a stroke patient will still be receiving a lot of medical care to help control blood pressure and circulation, for example. You can help by being very understanding in the face of severe loss of the patient’s independence and also by encouraging the daily and vital small steps towards recovery. A positive attitude will boost the patient’s confidence and his or her interest in persevering with rehabilitation. It is important to establish workable daily routines that allow for adequate support and motivation to further progress.

The role of medication

Medication is an important aid to recovery and is used to treat multiple types of impairment and to reduce the risk of a further stroke occurring. Anticoagulants and anti-platelet medication are vital in treating clots and preventing further blocked arteries. Aspirin is commonly used to this the blood, and to reduce its stickiness. Anticonvulsants may also be prescribed. As depression is also very common in those who have suffered a stroke, appropriate medication can also help to deal with this.

All these needs, however, can place many additional burdens on carers, including financial demands that need to be managed over a prolonged period. Buying medication online could help to keep costs down, which could be helpful in situations where money is tight. Canadian Online Drugs provides a wide range of medications that are commonly cheaper than the same drugs purchased in the US.

Regaining an enjoyable life

Convalescence after a stroke requires not only rest, but also appropriate exercise. Physiotherapy is often required, which will need to be provided by a professional practitioner. The earlier that treatment is started after the stroke, the greater the possibility of a full or partial recovery. If you are caring for a grandparent it is particularly important to be pro-active in encouraging them to get involved with specific activities, such as going to a stroke club where they can learn how to do everyday tasks in new ways and practice speech and coordination tasks.

Regular achievements in rehabilitation bring rewards and will help to fight off the depression that is so common in those patients recovering from a stroke. There are also many different aids that can help someone become more independent again, with things like mobility, dressing, eating and communicating.

Other lifestyle changes in diet and exercise are important in reducing the risks of further strokes. Although initially a stroke victim is at a higher risk of suffering another one, this risk lessens over time. So as a carer you have an important role to play in helping your grandparent adopt a more healthy diet and to find ways of taking exercise that is helpful for their condition.

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