7 Tips for Recovery After a Stroke
By Space Coast Daily // July 4, 2023
While the prognosis for strokes is somewhat better than for heart attacks, there is still quite a transformation that those recovering from a stroke undergo. The effects are not only physical but emotional and financial as well.
For those who are facing life after a stroke, there are some tips for recovery and preparation for your future. You should make sure you have life insurance to protect your family’s financial future. It may be more challenging to get life insurance after a stroke, but you can compare quotes or work with an insurance agent to find adequate life insurance coverage.
We’ll provide some expert tips in all three of these areas to make your physical, emotional, and financial challenges easier so you can live your best life possible.
What happens after a stroke?
After a stroke, you may need to adapt to new routines, participate in rehabilitation services, and modify some of your activities of daily living. While this may seem overwhelming, your new lifestyle can help you recover and prevent another stroke from occurring.
Most importantly, following the recommendations from your healthcare professionals is the best thing for stroke recovery. This team can work with your family members and caregivers to give you the best path forward to enjoy life and maximize your recovery.
Everyone’s recovery from a stroke looks different, but here are some common tips that can help your recovery efforts.
#1 – Understand Your Rehabilitation Plan
Your healthcare provider will make a recommendation for your rehabilitation after a stroke. It may include a combination of inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing, long-term care, a nursing home, or home health services.
You should work with your loved ones and healthcare professionals to determine the best rehabilitation plan for you. Open communication and working with your rehabilitation team are very important to find the best options for your personal situation.
#2 – Follow Therapy Recommendations
If your healthcare provider recommends occupational, physical, or speech therapy, make sure you participate in these services.
Occupational therapy helps with activities of daily living like hygiene, eating, preparing meals, and living independently. Physical therapy helps with motor skills like walking, coordination, lifting objects, or bending over.
If your speech was affected by a stroke, meeting with a speech therapist is also helpful. You may have problems with oral communication or expressing yourself. A speech therapist can help you improve your communication issues.
#3 – Recognize Physical Changes
A stroke may cause some lasting physical changes in your body. You may have more weakness, fatigue, stiffness, or difficulty moving around after a stroke. Understanding and recognizing these changes can help you to better cope with them.
You may want to keep track of or write down any physical changes that come up later. You will want to share those with your health care professional so these changes can be addressed.
#4 – Be Patient
When it comes to recovery and rehabilitation, remember to be patient. It may seem like you are improving in baby steps or only experiencing subtle changes, but that’s perfectly normal. If you lived independently or were active before the stroke, it may seem like your recovery is slow.
Stay positive and be patient when it comes to recovery. You may never get back to the level of functioning that you had before the stroke, but that’s ok. Your goal is to stay focused, celebrate your accomplishments, and do your best.
#5 – Manage Emotional and Mental Changes
A stroke may not only affect your physical health, but it can also affect your emotional and mental health. Your health care professional may recommend therapy or counseling to talk about your challenges or setbacks. A therapist or counselor can also provide you with strategies to help you deal with these changes and help you keep your mental health a priority.
#6 – Set Goals
It’s important to set future goals in coordination with your rehabilitation team, caregivers, and loved ones. These goals may be related to your activities of daily living like buttoning your shirt or brushing your teeth. It could also be improving your speech or basic motor skills like walking or living independently.
#7 – Prevent Future Strokes
Living a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, staying physically active, managing stress, and socializing is important to prevent future strokes.
Heart-healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products. Eating more whole, unprocessed foods and cooking at home can help you enjoy a heart-healthy diet. Try to cut back on processed, packaged, and restaurant foods because they are high in salt and lower in healthy nutrients.
Regular physical activity is also important. Go for a short walk with friends or family, do some exercises at home, or stay active with physical therapy. There are personal trainers for stroke rehabilitation that have a wealth of knowledge to help improve physical activity levels.
Since obesity is an established risk factor for stroke, you want to take measures to get to and maintain a healthy weight. The higher your body mass index (BMI), the higher risk to your physical health as well as your financial health, since life insurance rates for overweight people are higher.
Recovering after a stroke may seem like an uphill battle, but these tips can help you overcome obstacles. A healthy recovery can also help you find the best life insurance coverage and cheaper life insurance rates.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, QuickQuote.com. She has degrees in exercise science and health promotion and is a university professor of health sciences and human performance.