The latest facts and statistics surrounding strokes are alarming. Impacting someone in the U.S. every 40 seconds – more than 795,000 each year – strokes are the top cause of severe long-term disability, reducing mobility for more than half of those who encounter them over age 65. And one out of every 20 deaths in America is attributed to stroke.
There are several common side effects of stroke such as muscle paralysis, blurred vision, and slurred speech. However, when a senior experiences a stroke, there are particular side effects that may come as a surprise to both the senior and his or her loved ones. As experts in Arizona home health care, including caring for those recovering from stroke, we at Nightingale Homecare share the following types of lesser known effects of stroke, and how you can help manage them:
- Moodiness. A combination of the physical and emotional upheaval that can occur following a stroke can result in depression and other mood disorders. It’s important to let the senior’s physician know about any mood swings you notice so that he or she can provide treatment to help stabilize the senior’s emotions.
- Unusual behavior. Erratic behaviors can occur following a stroke, such as spontaneous crying or laughter without cause. Again, it’s crucial to bring any inappropriate behaviors to the attention of your loved one’s medical team. Keeping a log with dates, times, and any triggering events that may have initiated the behavior can be helpful.
- Exhaustion. Beyond simply feeling tired a lot, post-stroke exhaustion may require more than just getting more rest to correct. The National Stroke Association explains it as a sudden drop in energy level that can come on without warning, resulting from a variety of factors. The senior’s doctor can help identify the exact cause and how to best help.
- Insomnia. Whether from a change in circadian rhythm or the effects of obstructive sleep apnea, which can develop post-stroke, a stroke survivor may suddenly begin sleeping during the day and feeling restless and wakeful during the night. Check with the older person’s medical professional to determine if a sleep aid is permissible temporarily to help the person adjust to a more normal sleeping pattern once again.
One of the best ways to help someone recovering from a stroke is by partnering with a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at Nightingale Homecare. Our Arizona home health care team is fully trained and experienced in the nuances of post-stroke care, and can help with personal care needs, exercise and other physical activity, running errands, preparing meals, as well as a full range of skilled nursing care and professional therapy services – allowing family members to take a much-needed break from providing care with the confidence that their loved one is in the best of hands. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn about our in-home care for seniors.