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What You Need to Know: Ways to Help Recover After a Stroke

By Katie Gilbert

If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke in the past then you know that there can be many unexpected side effects during or after recovery. After an aging loved one experiences a stroke, the recovery process can become all about returning to as normal and independent of a routine as possible. For many, recovery involves an active approach. This may involve adapting to new changes as well as finding additional emotional, social, and physical means of support.

3 Main Factors To Consider During Recovery

When someone experiences a stroke they may have physical, mental, and cognitive side effects. To help an aging loved one during their recovery process, it can help to address all three of these areas. 

Stroke Side Effects - Physical, Mental and Cognitive

 When helping a person who is recovering from a stroke it is beneficial to understand the after affects. For example, it can be common for a stroke victim to experience impaired speech (dysphasia), experience emotional outbursts (pseudobulbar affect), complain about stiff or tight muscles (spasticity), or to experience lower moods than usual.

An even more troubling side effect for some may include vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia that can occur after multiple strokes that blocks major blood vessels in the brain. As a result, a person may experience trouble forming their thoughts or develop memory loss. 

What to Consider During Recovery

We know that recovering after a stroke can be incredibly difficult. That is why it is important to follow a doctor's treatment plan carefully. You can help an aging loved one by looking out for and addressing any factors that can commonly lead to a subsequent stroke. 

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Family History
  • A previous stroke

Controllable Risk Factors to Address

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Atrial Fibrilation
  • High Cholesterol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Circulation Problems
  • Tobacco Use
  • Alcohol Use
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Obesity

Stroke Prevention Strategies

The best prevention strategy is to find a way to decrease the controllable risk factors that may lead to another stroke. For example, establishing a routine of moderate daily physical activity can help some regain balance and their range of motion. In addition, discussing prevention methods with a health care provider and doctor will help you better understand the risk factors.

For additional information on stroke, review our free stroke resource: Warning Signs of a Stroke.

Warning Signs of Stroke Promotion

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Tags: Heart health

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