Every year, close to 800,000 people have a stroke. Of those, around 610,000 are first-time strokes. Close to 87 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes, meaning a clot blocks blood flow to the brain.
Your dad had a stroke. After talking to his medical team, you need to make plans as he cannot live alone without having others help him. It’s time to come up with a care plan that matches his needs.
Changes in the Home
Your dad will work with therapists to regain as much mobility as possible. He needs to work on the exercises that are recommended. What’s important to consider is that he may always need a walker, cane, or wheelchair. It’s hard to tell until he’s working with therapists.
His home may need to undergo some changes. If those changes aren’t possible, you may not have a choice other than to move him to a single-level home equipped with wider doors and hallways.
Bathing will be different after his stroke. If he cannot get in or out of the bathtub independently, he needs a home care provider there to help him. A shower seat that affixes to the wall or suctions to the tile or fiberglass floor is essential if he cannot stand for long. A walk-in tub or wheelchair-accessible shower can make it easier to bathe.
He may not be able to walk up and down the stairs. Look at the possibility of adding a power stairlift. If that’s not possible, moving him to the main level of the home is essential. He needs to have his bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area on the same level as the door he uses to get inside and outside of the home.
If there are stairs to the outside, a wheelchair ramp may be necessary to ensure he can get outside. This is why some families have to decide whether it’s better to stay in the current home or downsize to a single-level condo, apartment, or single-family home.
Changes to His Diet
After a stroke, his doctor may tell your dad to cut salt from his diet. He needs to watch saturated fat, excessive amounts of sugar, and processed foods. He needs to embrace a whole diet that contains plenty of fiber, lean protein, and nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Look Into the Benefits of Home Care
After your dad’s stroke, his medical team may recommend he goes to a rehabilitation wing or facility to relearn some of his required skills like swallowing, moving his legs and arms, and speech. Sometimes, you can arrange to have physical, speech, and occupational therapists come to his home. He’s still going to need additional help.
Home care aides can help your dad with bathing, grooming, and personal care. They can assist him on the stairs and when getting in and out of bed. Have home care aides help with meals, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation, too. It enables you to focus on spending time with your dad without worrying about what needs to get done around the home.