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Senior Stroke Recovery: Questions to Ask the Doctor

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on March 13, 2015

When providing care to a senior who has recently had a stroke, learning more about stroke and its effects is vital. Talking with your senior loved one’s doctor will give you a better understanding of how the stroke has affected his or her mobility, coordination, balance, brain functioning and overall wellbeing. Following are several important questions to ask the doctor prior to leaving the hospital.

1. What are the likely short and long-term physical effects of the stroke?

Different areas of the brain can be affected by a stroke, and these events tend to vary greatly in terms of severity from senior to senior. Ask the doctor how your loved one’s mobility will be affected by his or her stroke and what the chances are for full recovery. This will help you decide if Phoenix home stroke care will be necessary during your loved one’s rehabilitation.

2. Should the senior’s diet be altered?

Find out whether the doctor recommends any dietary changes. Make a list of all foods to avoid as well as a list of foods that your family member should be getting more of. Sometimes, swallowing is difficult after a stroke and your senior loved one may need to eat only soft foods for a period of time.

3. Is occupational therapy worthwhile?

In many instances, seniors are able to regain a considerable amount of lost mobility and coordination through occupational and physical therapies. Ask your doctor for recommendations concerning how to best set up and structure these programs for your senior loved one.

4. What medications should be taken to assist with the recovery process?

It is important for family caregivers to have a clear understanding of which prescription drugs are being taken and why. It is also important to ask about any possible drug interactions and side effects, especially if more than one physician is prescribing medication.

5. Are there other medical conditions that increase the likelihood of another stroke?

Learn more about how your senior loved one’s current health could increase the likelihood of future strokes. Ask the doctor for tips on controlling these risks by altering lifestyle or dietary habits.

6. Can the patient be rehabilitated at home?

In some instances, it may be necessary for seniors who have had a stroke to receive rehabilitative care in a facility throughout the formative stages of their recoveries. However, often times a qualified Phoenix caregiver can provide assistance with recovery in the senior’s home.

7. Can you recommend any support groups?

Caring for a senior who had a stroke can be physically and emotionally challenging. Getting help through support groups will make it possible for caregivers to avoid burnout or feelings of isolation.

8. Are there any special resources or equipment that will help my loved one function better?

There are a number of assistive products that can help seniors adapt to major physical changes. Doctors can best determine whether or not wheelchairs, scooters or canes will be necessary on a permanent or short-term basis. You can also ask about changes that might need to be made to the home, like taping down the edges of rugs, installing a shower rail, or getting a grabber for lightweight items.

Learn more about post-stroke recovery from the senior care experts at Phoenix Home Care Assistance. Our friendly and experienced caregivers can provide mobility support, run errands, cook healthy meals, and assist with personal grooming. To learn more, call (602) 388-1085 and schedule a free in-home consultation with a trusted Care Manager.