Most likely, people survive after their first stroke and live a productive life. Recovery begins in the hospital, however,it can be a long process requiring some big lifestyle changes.These necessary lifestyle changes include a change in your eating habits, getting used to a new set of medications,following a light and regular exercise routine, reducing your stress levels all of which would lower your risk of having another attack. Care at the hospital is vital, but following up post hospital treatment is utmost essential.
So if you are to take care of a person who has just come out of a stroke, keep the following points to a priority
1. TAKE CARE OF THE EMOTIONAL IMBALANCE
After the last stroke that the person has suffered, it is normal for him/her to be full of fear, depression, anxiety and fear. These feelings often last for about four to six months. To avoid the impact of these negative feelings on recovery, consulting a health specialist can be useful. Most of the times,sharing the feelings of the patient can motivate him/her up to a great limit. Spend time with the patient, celebrate little joys and let them have a positive approach towards the future.
2. MAKE SURE TO MAKE A CHANGE IN THE PATIENT’S LIFESTYLE
If the patient was into smoking, make him/her gradually quit. Always keep a check on blood pressure and cholesterol. If the concerned person is obese, manage with exercises and following a healthy diet. Never be afraid of exercising after a heart attack. Get him/her started with light exercises and gradually take a pace. But don’t indulge in lifting heavy weights.
- Make sure that the diet is low in saturated fats.
- Fruits and vegetables are to be consumed every day.
- Fibre rich whole grains are a must.
- Avoid Sodium, as it might take you to a hospital trip again.
- Processed foods should be a big no.
3. STAY UPDATED WITH THE MEDICATION
Stay updated with the medicines that are prescribed to your loved ones. Know the side effects of the same and the right time they should be having it. The therapist can also provide you with some written specifications that would explain what occurs after the stroke or during recovery. But above all,regular sessions with the doctor are important to measure progress, matters a lot.
4. DON’T IGNORE FALLS
Falls after a stroke are common. But if the patient experiences minor falls, with no injury, more than twice in six months, you should immediately seek treatment. Also if the person feels discomfort while walking or inability to do the daily activities that he/she enjoys, it is a matter of concern.
5. MONITORING THE PATIENT’S ACTIVITIES
In the beginning, the patient may feel weak or tired. That is because the heart muscles have been damaged and they have just returned from a bed rest at the hospital. But let them start with taking care of their own hygiene while you monitor their activities. You can plan on going for regular walking sessions with the patient. If the patient feels stronger, they may return to light household chores. Let the patient avoid lying too much on bed. An active heart is always better.
Strokes can be treated. If right actions are taken right after a stroke, a person may not have a major long term disability. A stroke or a heart attack is not a sign of backing out of the regular life activities, but a warning sign to make your mental and physical health a priority.
Feature image courtesy Melvin