After stroke care is a complex yet vital process designed to help people recover as much of their independence and ability as possible.
To mark the Stroke Association's 'Make May Purple for Stroke' initiative, we've put together this article to introduce you to the key members of an effective after stroke care team.
Key members of your after stroke care team
After stroke care requires a combination of physical, cognitive and domestic support. These are the care and healthcare professionals who can help get you back on your feet:
1. Specialist nurses/doctors
A team of specialist doctors, nurses and consultants will be your primary avenue of support throughout the early stages of your recovery.
They will take the lead in administering care and medication during your time in hospital. As you get closer to going home, they'll work together to develop a stroke recovery programme based on your needs.
This team will also act as a communication hub, liaising with other specialists to set the relevant wheels of your recovery in motion.
Having a stroke can stress your mind and body in a variety of different ways, making therapy immensely important.
You're likely to encounter therapists with a range of specialisms as part of your after stroke care remit. Depending on your condition, this could include:
One of the best-known symptoms of a stroke is partial paralysis (usually on one side of the body). However, a stroke can also cause:
- Lack of balance/co-ordination
Your physiotherapist will look to help you regain mobility and muscle strength by assessing your condition and recommending a tailored exercise programme.
This is likely to involve several specialist exercises for you to do at home, and at regular sessions with your physiotherapist.
An occupational therapist can give you recommendations for equipment/home modifications that can make your everyday life easier.
Speech and language therapists
A speech and language therapist can help with your communication.
This could include:
- Exercises to regain your speech
- Communication aids (e.g. alphabet boards or expressive aids)
- Alternative means of communication (e.g. sign language)
Cognitive behavioural therapists
A cognitive behavioural therapist can help you change the way you think about things, overcome depression/anxiety and adopt a positive state of mind.
Your doctor is likely to recommend a host of lifestyle changes geared towards enhancing your recovery and minimising your risk of a repeat episode.
Among the most important of these will be your nutritional intake, which your dietitian will be crucial in helping you improve.
They're likely to recommend that you adopt a new, balanced diet. This will comprise of foods known to aid stroke recovery, while omitting those understood to pose a risk.
4. Live-in carers
You'll require ongoing care to make sure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible, and live-in care offers many benefits that aren't present with other care models.
Live-in care makes the hospital discharge process a less stressful experience. Often, when stroke patients leave hospital they are required to enter a residential facility. Alternatively, they might return home, but without the level of support they really need.
However, with live-in care, your dedicated team of two live-in carers will make sure your home is a welcoming and safe environment for you to return to.
Then, over the following weeks and months, they will help you:
- Keep the home running smoothly
- Manage your medication
- Prepare foods recommended by your dietitian
- Carry out physiotherapy and gentle exercise
They will also act as an important point of contact for healthcare professionals. Your team will keep a close eye on your progress over time and ensure your care programme is perfectly tailored to your needs.
With this team of medical and care professionals behind you, you'll maximise your chances of regaining as much of your independence as possible.
Find out more about how live-in care helps promote effective after stroke care by speaking to the friendly team at The Good Care Group.