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Dealing with an aging parent suffering a stroke can be a frightening experience. Strokes impact nearly 800,000 people throughout the United States, and causes the death of over 130,000. This shows just how important it is for you to act quickly and ensure that your aging parent is getting the care and support they need immediately following the stroke. This means knowing what you can do while they are still in the hospital. Simply by following through with these responsibilities, you can improve your aging parent’s recovery, and boost their health moving forward, including helping them to reduce the risk of suffering another stroke.

Some things you should do while your parent is recovering in the hospital following a stroke include:

  • Connect with their medical team. As soon as your parent enters the hospital, establish yourself as their family caregiver, and a point of contact. This is especially important if the effect of the stroke is significant, they are not conscious, or they are suffering from cognitive functioning decline, such as is related to Alzheimer’s disease. Connecting with and staying in touch with their medical team allows you to pay attention to what they are doing, stay informed of the care plan, and act as their advocate if they can’t advocate for themselves.
  • Watch for signs of delirium. Delirium that occurs in the hospital, or hospital-induced delirium, can develop rapidly, and be detrimental for your senior’s health. Pay close attention to your parent’s behavior and functioning to detect if they might be struggling with this condition. Take note of changes in behavior or mental functioning such as confusion or irrational irritability.
  • Ask questions. Being properly informed is what’s going to make caring for your parent now and when they are discharged easier, smoother, and more effective. Being informed also gives you confidence your senior is getting the care and support they need from other members of their care team. If you don’t understand what’s going on, you are confused by something, you don’t know what’s happening, or you feel as though something is wrong, speak up. Ask questions and make sure you get answers that are satisfactory to you.
  • Prepare for discharge. Even as you are supporting your elderly parent as they recover in the hospital, it is important to think ahead to the time after discharge. Plan for what ongoing care will look like for them after they return home, including creating a therapeutic environment for them at home, and starting senior care for them. This will give you both confidence and prepare you for moving on.

If your aging loved one has recently suffered a stroke, or if they have specific risk factors that increase the risk that they will suffer a stroke, now may be the ideal time for you to consider senior care for them. Recovering from a stroke can be extremely challenging, and the services of a senior home care services provider along with the care and support you give to your parent can help to make this process smoother, less stressful, and more beneficial. A senior care provider can assist your parent through their recovery in many ways, improving their health and easing your stress. This care provider can give your loved one companionship and emotional support that can help them to handle the difficult effects of a stroke, enabling them to feel more motivated and ready to move forward. They can also provide assistance with tasks throughout the home that allow your parent to get the rest they need to relax, rest, and heal, and support to make good lifestyle choices, stay compliant with medications and guidelines, and improve their health as they move past their stroke.