Strokes can be really frightening and recovery after one can be a lengthy process. Many patients and their family members are anxious to learn how to recover from a stroke quickly and without complications.
It can be overwhelming when someone who is physically and socially active suddenly loses the ability to walk and talk clearly. Since strokes are a leading cause of long-term disability, understanding them and the recovery process is important. A stroke impairs blood supply to the brain, and this is what can lead to speech and mobility problems.
The specific type of issues a stroke victim faces will depend on the area of the brain that is affected by the stroke. About 25 percent of strokes occur in someone who has already had a stroke. Approximately 40 percent of stroke sufferers experience moderate to severe impairments. These impairments require special care.
Some people who have a stroke experience paralysis on one side of the body, problems sensing pain, difficulty understanding and talking, and can become overly emotional.
Recovery after a stroke requires patience and commitment. Medical scientists don’t know exactly how the brain recovers, but they do have some possible explanations for how brain rehabilitation happens. Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that the brain may be able to function after a stroke by changing the way different tasks are performed. If blood flow to the affected area of the brain is restored, some of the brain cells that are damaged—as opposed to completely destroyed—may be able to resume functioning at some point. One area of the brain may take control of functions that used to be performed by an affected area.
Many people wonder if you can fully recover from a stroke. Well, studies suggest that about 10 percent of stroke victims recover almost completely, while about 25 percent recover with minor impairments, 15 percent die shortly after, and the remainder require special care due to moderate or severe impairments.
Recovery focuses on rehabilitation and specifically addresses speech, cognitive, motor, and sensory skills. Here’s a closer look at the skills a stroke patient can potentially recover.
When asked how to recover from a stroke quickly, many doctors will say, “family involvement.” Healthcare professionals have recognized that stroke patients tend to recover impaired physical and mental abilities more quickly if family members step in and help the patient with their recovery. Studies indicate that a helpful family not only leads to patients improving balance, motor function, and walking distance, but also helps them with other general activities associated with daily living. Family participation is also an asset because it seems to empower the caregivers and helps to reduce the stress they feel as a result of the illness.
The best way to recover from a stroke may be different in each situation, but no matter what the level of impairment is, having family or close friends around to support and encourage you during recovery can be a huge motivating factor. In one study, researchers discovered that those who had family involvement in their therapy spent less time confined to a hospital than those who didn’t have any family involved in their recovery.
There is no set timeline for recovery. Some people go through rehab and are able to resume normal activities in a matter of months, while others may take a year or more to regain some of their functioning. Here are some ways to help speed up the recovery process.
There are also compensation techniques that can be helpful. These are methods to help a stroke victim adapt to any deficits he or she may have. For example, a Kindle compensates for holding and reading a book or a cane compensates for impaired balance.
There are certain tips for stroke recovery that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, survivors of strokes are at a high risk of having another stroke if the treatment is not followed If you have a family member or friend who has suffered a stroke, make sure they follow their doctor’s instructions as well as any rehabilitation protocols. Below are some other important recovery tips.
If you are in a position where you are advocating for a stroke victim, keep in mind that most communities have resources, such as stroke survivor or caregiver support groups, for you to turn to. Doctors and case managers can often guide you to many community resources.
It is unfortunate, but close to 800,000 Americans suffer from a stroke every year, and while recovery isn’t easy, it can begin right after doctors have stabilized the condition. Often times, the recovery process begins when a person is still hospitalized and continues long after being released. The point is that the sooner rehabilitation begins, the higher the chances are of regaining affected brain and body function.