How to Know What Care Is Needed After a Stroke
If your family member or close friend has recently had a stroke, you're probably still reeling. Not only do you have to come to terms with her acute illness and possible disability, you have to make plans for the future. Will she be able to return to her former living situation, or will you need to arrange for more care? Should you move her into your own home or a long-term care facility? And how do you manage the feelings and needs of your other family members, including kids? Deciding how much care someone will need isn't easy. One of the most frustrating aspects of stroke is that there's no magical formula or timeline for recovery: Life after stroke means coming to terms with uncertainty. But once you have a reasonably good idea of the patient's prognosis, you can at least begin doing some research and weighing the pros and cons of different options. Armed with this information, you'll be able to make an informed decision about what's best not only for the patient, but also for you and the rest of your family. ##Stroke Care In Your Home If your family member can't return to her former living situation after a stroke, the decision you'll face is whether to care for her in your own home or find a long-term care facility. If you think you can care for her yourself, you may want to look into some type of part-time help: * **In-home help.** Part-time home care costs more as the level of care increases. A home care aide is the least expensive and can help with household tasks like cleaning and laundry. A home health aide can also help with bathing and grooming; oversee medications; check pulse, temperature, and blood pressure; and help with simple exercises. A nurse provides more medical care but is considerably more costly. * **Adult daycare and respite services.** This option might enable you to keep working outside the home or simply give you a much-needed break from caregiving. Adult daycare centers usually offer special activities, such as exercise programs, arts and crafts, and music. Some adult daycare also offers occupational, speech, and physical therapy.