After a stroke, seniors must adopt healthy habits to promote recovery and reduce risk for secondary stroke. Although an individual’s stroke care plan will be dependent on the severity of the stroke, families can help prevent their senior loved one from having a secondary stroke by following a few simple steps.
- Determine What Caused the First Stroke – Did your loved one’s stroke happen because of atrial fibrillation? Perhaps the thinning of an important blood vessel? Treatment will vary depending on the causative factors that triggered the first stroke so schedule an appointment with your loved one’s primary care physician to determine the best care plan. Also ask about other factors that may put your loved one at risk such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
- Quit Bad Habits – This is especially true for cigarette smokers. The components of a cigarette can damage the heart and surrounding blood vessels. Prolonged smoking constricts major arteries and can significantly impact the risk for stroke. Alcohol consumption should also be ceased, if not moderated.
- Redesign the Diet – If you’re helping with your loved one’s meal preparation, minimize the consumption of high-fat and high-glucose foods including deep-fried treats like potato chips. Instead, fill the diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean cuts of meat like chicken or turkey. If you or your loved one are unable to prepare healthy diets according to dietary restrictions, consider hiring a professional Toronto hourly caregiver who can assist with grocery shopping and nutritious meal preparation a few times a day or a few times a week.
- Attend Follow-Up Appointments – Make it a priority to attend any scheduled follow-up appointments to check your loved one’s blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol on a regular basis. Early detection of abnormal increases in any of these three metrics can help to reduce risk for secondary stroke.
- Establish a Strong Support Group – Families and close friends should be involved with the lifestyle changes that their loved one is about to undergo. Supportive behaviour further reinforces the changes and makes for an easier transition.
Don’t allow a stroke to prevent your loved one from living his or her life to the fullest. With proper control, moderation, discipline, and support, living a stroke-free life is possible. To learn more about caring for a senior loved one after a stroke, call (416) 488-8777 and ask about our customized stroke care plans. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of stroke care in Toronto, ON that provides senior stroke survivors with the high quality care they need in the comfort of home. Schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.