skip to Main Content
Home Care After A Stroke: 9 Tips For Recovery & Caregiving At Home

Home Care After a Stroke: 9 Tips for Recovery & Caregiving at Home

Strokes can affect everyone differently. Depending on the severity of the stroke, some people may be up and alert the next day, while others may need a great deal of time to recuperate. 

No matter what your loved one’s specific needs may be, there are many ways to be an attentive and effective caregiver for someone who has experienced a stroke. Here are nine helpful tips for family members who have been given the role of caregiver for someone they love. 

1. Expect the Unexpected

Once a stroke has occurred, it can be difficult to tell how an individual will respond and recover after the fact. Even trained physicians can only make an educated guess when it comes to stroke recovery

Most stroke survivors experience the most significant recovery three to four months post-event. However, depending on factors like previous health status and age, some survivors can make gains more quickly or slowly. Don’t expect any specific timeline when it comes to your loved one’s recovery. 

Additionally, keep in mind that after one stroke has occurred, it’s common for another to happen. You can help to reduce this risk as a caregiver by feeding your family member a healthy diet, helping them exercise, and keeping them on track with medications. 

2. Make Your Home Fall-Safe

It’s easy for recent stroke victims to lose their balance and fall. However, injuries in this state can be serious or even fatal. When your loved one is cleared to come home after a stroke, do your best to limit their risk of falling as much as possible. 

To start, remove slippery items like rugs or mats and stay nearby if and when they move around the house. Other long-term remedies for falling risk include grab bars for the bathrooms, chairs or other seating for the shower, and moving their bedroom to the ground floor.

3. Stay on Top of Medications

One of the biggest risks for recurrence after a stroke is a change in medications. In some cases, this may have contributed to the original stroke. 

Once your family member is home and recovering, make sure to administer their medications exactly as their physician has prescribed. This could be one of the main reasons your loved one doesn’t experience another stroke and is able to recover properly. 

4. Consult With the Medical Team

Your family member’s doctors have a great deal of experience working with other stroke victims and studying the healing process from multiple angles. Staying in contact with their medical team on a regular basis post-stroke will help you provide the best possible care. 

Keep your loved one’s medical personnel updated on their recovery process and any symptoms they’re experiencing. This way, their doctors will have a finger on the pulse of their recovery between appointments, and you’ll be able to receive helpful advice from professionals in the field. 

5. Adjust Your Communication

After a stroke, how you communicate with your loved one will likely change. These events can affect the areas of the brain that control communication and speech, which can make your family member confused by speech or unable to speak in the same way. 

Adjust your style of communication to make things easier for your family member. Use short sentences and only ask yes or no questions whenever possible. When speaking, try to eliminate distractions like music or background noise. Additionally, avoid changing subjects too quickly, as it can cause confusion. 

6. Be Aware of Changing Eating Habits

Eating and drinking can change after a stroke, especially in the early stages of recovery. Your family member may need assistance making their food soft enough to swallow. Consider cutting their food into tinier pieces or providing nutrients in liquid form through protein shakes, smoothies, or juices. 

Your loved one may not be able to clearly communicate their needs around eating and drinking, so it’s important to anticipate these changes after a stroke. Make sure they are sitting upright when they drink and eat, and serve liquids with straws and lids. 

If you’re unsure what kinds of foods your family member can handle, start with naturally soft items like yogurt and bananas. 

7. Lead With Empathy

Having a loved one experience a stroke is stressful and upsetting, and many caregivers can inadvertently take out their stress on their family member when the process of caregiving becomes difficult. 

Even though it might be a struggle, keep empathy and understanding at the forefront when caring for someone who has just had a stroke. Anger and impatience will only make the situation more difficult for everyone involved. 

8. Help Acquire Mental Healthcare

Did you know that depression is a common side effect of strokes? If your loved one suffers from depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns post-stroke, assist in getting them the help they need by researching appropriate mental healthcare resources. 

A one-on-one counselor or support group could make a huge difference in your loved one’s well-being and reduce the risk of stroke recurrence. 

9. Take Time for Yourself

As a caregiver, dedicating all of your time to your loved one is easy to do. Just remember that providing the best care is difficult when you’re not caring for yourself. Find ways to include self-care routines in your daily life so that you can show up better for your loved one and maintain your health throughout their rehabilitation process. 

Make a Difference With Compassionate Stroke Care

You may not know how to be the perfect caregiver to your family member who’s experienced a stroke. If you do your best to learn the ropes quickly and lead with compassion, you’re sure to make a huge difference in their recovery

If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

Back To Top