10 things to do in the first month after a stroke
I am Kenny Lo, founder of PinkPharm and I started this company after seeing first hand how hard caregiving for your loved ones can be.
In 2014 my mother-in-law suffered a stroke. That's how I have learnt of and seen things/tasks that have aided her recovery over the past 3 years. I hope you are going to benefit from this and chart a journey back to recovery for your loved ones. Every patients' requirement is different and this my personal experience.
Here are my recommendations:
Remember to install support bars and purchase simple exercise machines (e.g. pedal cycles, light plastic dumb bells, exercise bands). During the first few weeks of returning home there is a high chance that patients might experience falls at home therefore constant supervision is important during this time. Make sure there will always be someone home to prevent this risk.
2. Turn the person on different sides of the body
When my mother-in-law was discharged from the hospital and following recommendations from the doctors, turning her occasionally on different sides of the body was very useful to improve blood flow and reduce chances of new blockages. Plus, we had to make sure the skin was moisturised and bed sores had to be prevented with creams.
3. Support the person mentally and emotionally
After my mother-in-law awoke, the family had to provide mental support. Most patients would not know that a stroke has occurred and that is when they can start suffering from depression. Therefore family support is key to boost the morale of the patients which has a positive effect on recovery.
4. Try acupuncture
After the first week of hospital stay, we immediately got in touch with an acupuncturist. Sessions involve stimulating acupoints to improve blood flow and the nervous system.
5. Trust physiotherapy
It's very important to engage in physiotherapy after a stroke to regain muscle memory and rebuild the muscle mass as soon as possible.
6. Stay active
Apart from physiotherapy sessions, the patient should attempt to keep up an active to reinforce what was taught to get back into the flow of daily life.
7. Continue the physiotherapy at home
Daily sessions ranging from 45-60 minutes are important. It is best to consult a licensed therapist to recommend what exercises to do at home. This was crucial for us to capitalise on the physiotherapy sessions and speed up recovery.
8. Family support is the most important support
Family bonding and interaction will give the person confidence in his/her abilities. You want to prevent your loved ones from suffering of depression and this will aid the recovery process and enable the patient to move on to the next level of the recovery process.
9. Remember to take your medication on time
All medication prescribed by the doctor should be taken on time every time and at the prescribed dose. This is essential to prevent and reduce the chances of a recurrent stroke.
10. Don't forget the supplements
Patients should manage the intake of food to avoid excessive eating of oily and food that's high in salt. This can be complemented with intake of Omega-3 and heart health supplements.
It has been 3 years and I am happy to see my mother-in-law walking again. She is still attending physiotherapy sessions regularly although at a less intense pace. Last week we even managed to convince her to take walks around the estate and enjoy the greenery of the surroundings.
I believe that every loved one with the right care and guidance from professionals and family has the best shot at recovery.
I have also listed a few points of contacts we have used during the recovery process. Feel free to contact them directly or drop me an email at Kenny.Lo@pinkpharm.com and I will be more than willing to help!
Wishing you well,
Ho Neurology Pte Ltd
Dr Ho King Hee
Address: 6 Napier Road #09-04 Gleneagles Medical Centre, 258499
Tel: 6479 9993
Physical therapy clinic in Singapore
Address: 1 Orchard Boulevard, #12-01 Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649
Tel: 6732 4565
Emmanuel Physiotherapy Pte Ltd
Physical therapy clinic in Singapore
Address: One Tanglin Road, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore 247905
Tel: 6235 2757
Home Nursing Foundation
Address: 93 Toa Payoh Central, Toa Payoh Central Community Building #07-01, Singapore 319194
Tel: 6854 5500/55