Stroke Recovery: What to Expect at Home

June 6, 2023

stroke recovery

More than 800,000 Americans suffer from a stroke annually. Sometimes referred to as a “brain attack,” a stroke is the result of interrupted blood flow to the brain. The lack of oxygen and nutrients from the blood causes brain cells to die. As a result, a stroke can cause severe brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

If you or a family member has suffered from a stroke, it’s important to understand the potential long-term effects of a stroke and how to manage your ongoing recovery at home so you can get back to your everyday life faster. 

The Effects of a Stroke and What to Expect 

The effects of a stroke differ from person to person, depending on the severity and type of stroke suffered. This means the recovery process for each patient will vary as well. Following a stroke, you may experience loss of mobility, motor function, communication, and the ability to perform everyday tasks. You may require physical, speech, and occupational therapy to help regain and relearn these skills. 

  • Movement: If your overall mobility has been affected by a stroke, your physical therapist can help you regain strength or balance, exercise muscles, and learn how to use mobility aids such as a walker or a wheelchair.
  • Speech and language: Communication and swallowing may be challenging following a stroke. In these cases, speech-language pathologists can help you restore your speech and swallowing abilities.
  • Everyday tasks: Dressing, bathing, eating, or other daily tasks can become more difficult to manage following a stroke. Your occupational therapist can help you improve coordination and overall management of daily living tasks. They may also suggest stroke recovery aids that can go a long way in helping you regain functionality and independence. 

Be prepared, as stroke recovery could take a long time. If you’ve had a severe stroke, regaining full functionality could take several months or even years. In the early stages of recovery, you may need assistance from others. As you gain back function, you will require less intervention.  
Your stroke care team will help assess and manage your post-stroke recovery needs, including tailoring a rehabilitation program just for you. 

Stroke Recovery at Home 

While at home, you can implement some of the same concepts and ideas you learned during your hospital stay. This may also include performing activities and exercises from your speech and physical therapy sessions. Additionally, stroke recovery aids can greatly assist in your recovery and help keep you safe and comfortable while recovering at home. 

General Safety: The peace of mind and sense of security during your inpatient stay should be true at home, too. Adding items such as bed rails can help you safely get in and out of bed. Installing grab bars and shower chairs can help you confidently and safely navigate the bathroom. General safety items like this can help you take a big step towards independence and resuming your daily routine.

Rehabilitation Aids: There are many stroke rehabilitation aids you can use at home. Strengthen your diaphragm with your own personal breath builder or improve your motor functions with AliMed’s Carrot™ Hand Orthosis Kit. No matter what your personal recovery goals are, there are stroke recovery products that can help simplify the process. 

Adaptive Dining Aids: Dining aids can help you increase your independence during mealtimes. AliMed’s ADL Cuff with D-Ring helps counter grip difficulties. If you can only use one hand, scoop dishes can help hone motor skills, and weighted cups for dysphagia can aid with swallowing issues during stroke rehabilitation.  

DressingBathing, and Medication Aids: Everyday tasks and daily activities can be a breeze when you invest in the right tools. Extend your reach with dressing aids such as shoe horns or dressing sticks. Don socks and shoes easier with one- or two-handed sock aids or elastic shoelaces. Bathing and hygiene aids such as long-handled sponges and combs support limited dexterity. Medication aids keep your medications organized and accessible. 

Communication Aids: If speaking is a problem during the early stages of your recovery, communication devices can assist when talking with friends and family members. Moreover, you can enhance your speech therapy sessions using ColorCards that concentrate on common verbs, adjectives, and everyday objects.

Other Aids: Additionally, stroke survivors can minimize the chances of future strokes with a heart-healthy lifestyle. Blood pressure monitors can help to monitor high blood pressure post-stroke, informing you of any changes. 

After a stroke, recovery and rehabilitation can feel frustrating at times. It may seem as if most of the recovery process is immediate care, including attending several speech and physical therapy sessions. The most crucial time for recovery is within the first few weeks and months following a stroke. Dedicating time and effort towards functional improvement in the early stages of recovery will make all the difference as you progress towards independence.  


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