Stroke recovery treatment – The role of family and friends

The only reason I think, my father is still with us today, 7 years after a fatal stroke in the brain stem, is undoubtedly the ceaseless loving embrace and the unreserved support he had every moment from his family and close friends. Although there was a whole medical team that accompanied him throughout the entire period of hospitalization and recovery, but דtroke recovery treatment can not succeed, without loving support from family and friends.

It is frightening to think today, what would have happened if it had not been. The period, at its lowest ebb, after a severe stroke my father had been through, for a whole month without interruption, we stood in line 24/7, holding each of my father’s arms (legs and arms) to prevent the hospital staff from tying his limbs, Since he kept taking away the feeding and breathing equipment and of course the catheter and the diaper.

Role split to periods

Looking back at the entire period, It seems that we can split the role of Family in the recovery of the patient to:

During the hospitalization

The role of the family is to support, to give the patient the feeling that he is not alone, a kind of cover and embrace of love, while seeking ways to give hope and reinforcement.

We did not stop talking to my father, telling him what we were going through every day, even when he was unconscious and when he was in a world of his own. According to my father’s progress, you can see that his resistance has diminished, albeit at a slow pace – you need a lot of patience.

It helped him to hear a familiar voice that continues to connect the patient to everyday life (even if it does not seem so). It is worth noting that my father never sang outside the bath, but in the new reality, singing, while receiving positive reinforcement from those around him, gave him a feeling of control even in the days It he could not move in bed.

Towards release from hospital

The role of the family is to provide a voice for the patient with the professional staff and to make decisions for recommendations and further treatment.

Of course, the intention is not to interfere with these medical decisions, just to help the professional staff in the hospital understand the patient’s current condition and not only through their eyes, One that does not characterize the current situation, because they are forced to work mechanically and rigidly due to an infinite number of cases that are treated concurrently, so as not to take all the cases to heart.

Rehabilitation center

At this stage, the main role of the family is to give motivation and positive reinforcement and fractures to help a lot of love and the feeling that the family and friends do not leave the patient, to give him hope that he will return to the previous life.

At the same time, you have to work with the rehabilitative team, which includes a psychologist, to prepare the patient for the new situation, without breaking his spirit – which will affect the rehabilitation effort.

Towards release from rehabilitation

The long-awaited day begins to approach, but we have to prepare for the next stage very well, and this includes:

Training

Now is the time to get a full training from the rehabilitation center, regarding relevant information for once we get home:

exercises for the patient to do at home

How to mobility the patient at home

Daily routine of taking care for the patient at home

Do list with a do not do list

Nutrition

Learn what are the patient rights

daily medicines list and prescriptions

Prepare patient home:

Preparing the home and adapting it to the physical condition of the patient – If the patient comes out of rehabilitation with a disability that did not exist, it is reasonable to assume that the home will need to be adapted to his special needs. At this stage, the rehabilitation team should be assisted to obtain a list of recommendations and to consult with them on what is desirable in order to adapt the patient’s home to his new condition.

For example if the patient is released when he needs a wheelchair without using his legs, it will be necessary to increase the entrances to the rooms and corridor passages so that it will be possible to move freely in the house in a wheelchair (usually the shower room and the patient’s bedroom). In addition to buying a wheelchair (it is recommended to rent mainly for the first few days to understand what the chair needs – see this article), if the patient has only a bath, it is advisable to replace the shower with the handicap.

For my father release we had to rebuild all entrance and change the doors, and in order to assist his mobility condition the main shopping we’ve done were in buying:

Wheelchair: Check how to select a wheel chair and our entire wheel chair reccomendation

At the beginning we rent a wheelchair of type “Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair with Flip Back Desk Arms, Swing Away Footrests, 18″ Seat”, later on we bought the wheelchair and used it for the first 4 years.

    

After 4 years, my dad caretaker asked to replace the wheelchair then we bought “Karman 29 pounds S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair 18″ Pearl Silver ” which we still are using for 3 years now.

       

For the Bathroom after removing the bath and replacing it with a shower big enough to enter with a wheelchair, and since my father need assistance in taking a shower, we bought:

Chair for the bath – Check our entire list of bath and shower chair reccomendation

Due to the high cost of all renovation we’ve decided not to buy a rolling shower chair)

Toilet Grab bar – check our grab bar reccomendation

For the toilet, and specially since my father is a mail which need to stand for peeing, we bought “Moen 30-Inch Flip-Up Bathroom Grab Bar, Stainless (R8960FD)”

                                                                                                           

Handicap sink

Below the from the type we bought to my dad bathroom, in the picture you got “Bathroom sink – Care – 5G7860 – bolt mounting 60 cm” by gustavsberg Link

Home Sweet Home

Although this is the long awaited phase, this is sometimes the most difficult one, since this is the daily routine which will have ups and down, and the reality will hit since once at home, the patient feel their disability, so the first days may involve depression.

But at the same time, if done correctly, it can become the most satisfying phase and new wonderful family moment can be created together.

Just thinking that on the day of my father stroke, their was a good change that it won’t survive it, and now, 7 years later, he’s living at his h0me with my mom.

And although he got many disabilities including dementia, We still manage to experience happy family moments together, from time to time we come to talk to him a meaningful discussion (occasionally he has an awakening of recognition and incessant speech), he has seen his grandchildren, and often enjoys sleeping in bed with his wife ( In bed adapted to his condition).

2 Comments

  1. Good article with good resources. Thanks for the post. I think you’re right–there’s a need for holistic recovery resources and patience with the recovery process. Makes me wonder, though, how medical insurance plays into ordering equipment from Amazon. I look forward to seeing more from you on this subject. The education you provide is useful.

    1. Good question Kevin, After reviewing the issue, it turns out that, like any purchase of equipment that may be covered by insurance, including a physical store purchase, you should first ask the insurance company, because each policy is different and conditions and requirements accordingly.

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