Today, October 29, is World Stroke Day, and it’s an important occasion to stop and think about stroke prevention and what to do about one the world’s deadliest killers. For patient who are victims, and for anyone who might be susceptible or helping someone who is, it’s a great opportunity to talk about post stroke care.
Getting post stroke care right away
Stroke is a process, even though it happens quickly. It’s urgent to get the patient treated the moment it becomes apparent, or even if it’s just suspected, that he’s having a stroke.
If you suspect someone is having a stroke, do these things immediately:
- Call 911. You need help ASAP.
- Not the time that you noticed symptoms. This will become helpful later on when doctors need to have information.
- If the person is unconscious, perform cpr.
- Do not let the person eat, drink, or drive.
Brain cells die as the stroke the happening, so the faster the patient is stabilized, the better chance he has at a full recovery. Once he’s in the hospital and it’s been confirmed that he’s indeed experiencing a stroke, the staff will develop an initial treatment plan to stabilize the situation and begin recovery. Rehabilitation really begins the moment the stroke is over, but an organized treatment plan will be developed when the patient is transferred to a skilled nursing facility for a stroke rehabilitation program and organized post stroke care.
What happens at a facility?
When the patient enters the facility, he’s already past the danger and now on the road to recovery. However, each patient shows differently, with a range of outcomes. Some may have speech problems while other may have walking issues and others will have both, on the same side of the body. The facility staff will create a customized program for each patient to maximize his own progress, with therapies, such as speech and occupational, as well as medications, rest time, and other activities.
In 2016, the American Heart Association put out a list of guidelines for stroke rehabilitation to set standards and aim for the best. This raises the benchmarks for post stroke care and helps ensure that stroke victims receive proper care.
The amount of time a patient stays in rehab can vary, with the best case scenario usually being about 2 weeks, and more difficult cases much longer, even several months. However, recovery can and often must continue at home.
Another element of a proper post stroke program, whether the patient sustained damage or not, is making lifestyle changes that improve overall health and reduce the risk of another stroke or other medical problem. Post stroke care will require proper diet and physical activity, lifetime changes to increase positive outcomes.
At Sinai Post Acute Care Center for Rehabilitation in Newark New Jersey, we provide outstanding post stroke care for victims of stroke who are looking for a dedicated and expert team of clinicians