Because stroke recovery is most intense within the first month or so, it’s important for senior stroke survivors to be actively involved in the process. If you have a loved one in the process of recovering from a stroke, there are some ways you can help him or her rewire the affected parts of his or her brain and heal as quickly and effectively as possible. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Rebuild Skills with Repetition
Repetition is the key to quick stroke recovery for seniors because repeating certain actions boosts the brain’s rewiring ability, referred to as neuroplasticity. Therapy focused on repetition could help your loved one quickly regain abilities involving:
- Speech and communication
- Dexterity and other fine motor skills
Increase Leg, Feet, and Core Muscle Strength
If your loved one is having difficulty walking after the stroke, help him or her quickly increase mobility with exercises that focus on the muscles needed for walking. In addition to the muscles in the legs and feet, pay attention to core muscles that play a role in stability and mobility, including those in the lower back and hips.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise safely during recovery. Families looking for top-rated Oakville homecare services providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Don’t Be Too Dependent on Foot Braces
A common effect of strokes is what’s called foot drop, which refers to difficulty lifting the front part of the foot because of stroke-related weakness or paralysis. There are braces that can help with this problem. However, your loved one will be more likely to regain control of the affected foot sooner if he or she does repetitive foot drop exercises instead of relying solely on a brace for support. Exercises of this nature include:
- Toe-to-heel rocks
- Towel stretches
- Ankle stretches with a resistance band
- Ball lifts performed with the feet while in a seated position
Use Apps to Help with Communication Skills
There are plenty of handy apps that can help seniors recover quickly from stroke-related issues involving language and communication, such as aphasia and dysgraphia. Some of the most frequently recommended apps include:
- SmallTalk from Lingraphica
- Constant Therapy
- Language Therapy 4-in-1
Don’t Stop Once a Plateau Is Reached
Around three to four months into recovery, it’s common for stroke survivors to reach a point where progress slows down. This is perfectly normal, but some stroke survivors get frustrated and begin to ease up on their recovery efforts. However, it’s important to encourage your loved one to continue with what he or she is doing. Alternatively, talk to the doctor about other ways your loved one can regain or enhance certain skills and abilities.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Oakville live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Explore Relaxation Techniques
Senior stroke survivors often experience anxiety and stress as they go through their recovery period. This is also normal, but being overly stressed can make it difficult to quickly recover mentally and physically. For this reason, it can be helpful to include relaxation techniques in your loved one’s stroke recovery routine. Options include:
- Gentle, relaxing yoga poses
- Water-based therapies that provide physical stimulation in a relaxing way
- Deep-breathing exercises
- Mindful meditation and similar cognitive therapies
Embrace Brain-Friendly Foods
Another way to speed up the stroke recovery process is to encourage your loved one to follow a diet that includes nutrient-rich foods. Many foods that fit into this category also help parts of the brain affected by a stroke get a steady flow of essential nutrients. Some of the best foods for stroke recovery foods include:
- Salmon, tuna, and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Berries and seeds
- Unsalted nuts
- Whole grains
- Green leafy vegetables
Elderly home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (905) 337-1200 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.