Recovery From Stroke
Strokes are among the major causes of disability and death in seniors. A stroke is a vascular accident to the brain that is usually caused by a blood clot. It happens when blood flow is inadequate, when there is a lack of blood flow, and when the brain does not have enough oxygen. All this can result in cell death within the brain which further as a consequence can have some serious effects on certain areas of the brain responsible for proper functioning of the body, basic motor skills, cognitive abilities, speech, etc.
Are there any warning signs that indicate the stroke?
Before the stroke occurs a victim can rarely exhibit certain warning signs. These signs more often appear at the moment when the stroke is already happening. An elderly adult may behave normally and go after his/her everyday activities without any symptom before the stroke occurs. Therefore, it is of immense importance to detect some key warning signs as soon as they appear because they can mean the difference between life and death. Some of them are:
• Balance problems, facial weakness, and numbness on one side of the face or body: When a stroke is about to strike a victim may have difficulties to move and maintain balance. He/she will have difficulty with keeping both arms at the level, and he/she will experience droopiness in the muscles of the face or partial paralysis which often strikes one side of the face or body.
• Speech difficulties: Affected persons are usually confronted with an inability to pronounce words, and their speech may become slurred.
• Confusion, dizziness, and severe headaches: An older adult experiencing a stroke may feel sudden dizziness and confusion as the result of irregular blood flow, and lack of oxygen in the brain and that can lead to an inability of understanding others and severe headaches.
As soon as these symptoms are noticed, a victim should immediately receive a proper medical attention. The faster the victim gets help, the less of an impact the stroke will have on his/her physical and mental abilities, and the better chances he/she will have for a complete recovery.
Recovery after stroke
Recovery after stroke may vary, depending on the extent of the brain injury and how fast the victim was provided with help. Those seniors who are lucky to survive the attack have to undergo an extensive rehabilitation to recover and regain their lost functions and ability to speak, think clearly and control basic motor skills.
The process of recovery usually involves a variety of therapies in which the patients are engaged, and all of them are aimed at restoring the neurological functions of patients. During that time patients are in the facilities where they participate in the therapies such as physical, speech and occupational therapy. These treatments mean that nurses and physicians work with the patients to help them recover and regain their lost functions. They are supposed to teach the patient how to perform actions such as walking, speech, eye-hand coordination, etc. However, the recovery process includes not only physical rehabilitation but emotional recovery as well. After the stroke, patients may experience emotional breakdown and depression, and physicians have to pay particular attention to the emotional condition of a patient too and provide them with necessary care and motivation that they need to make the most of their rehabilitation. The final goal of these recovery processes is to return the patients independence and ability to live on their own again.