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Think about your brain! May is National Stroke Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to understand what is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. While strokes are not responsible for as many deaths as heart disease and cancer, it is the number one cause of serious, long-term disability.

As such, it’s important to look at the care expectations for a stroke survivor and how you can help a loved one who has suffered a stroke.

Physical Therapy

One of the biggest problems associated with a stroke is the introduction of physical limitations. Many stroke victims will suffer from a variety of problems including paralysis. It then becomes necessary for a stroke survivor to have extensive physical therapy. The actual PT sessions, however, should not be the end of the activity to rehab from the stroke. Physical therapists will provide the patient with regular exercises that they can do on their own to improve their condition. These will include physical activities meant to relax muscles (which often stiffen after a stroke) and improve the range of motion in joints and lim

Speech Therapy

Another major problem is facial paralysis and “drooping” which leads to problems talking, especially slurred speech. Additionally, stroke victims often suffer from aphasia. Aphasia is the inability to communicate with speech as well as the inability to understand what people are saying. Besides speech therapy, it may be necessary for recovering patients to carry adaptive tools such as books of words and phrases that they can point to in order to help communicate. Some recovering stroke victims carry a card to give to store workers and others to explain their communication problems.

Emotional Issues

Emotional issues associated with a stroke don’t get as much attention as the physical challenges. Many patients will face depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afterwards. The patient may have fears that a stroke will occur again and feel as if they are reliving the experience. Other times, they will face severe depression and anxiety associated with feelings of loss and helplessness. When this occurs, it is especially important for caregivers to be as patient as possible.Support groups and a healthy diet can also help in these areas.

Home Care For Recovery

One of the most important parts of recovery from a stroke is that it should, if possible, take place in the home. GoldLeaf Care has committed to the idea that the best and fullest recovery for patients comes when they are in their own homes. There, they are happier and more relaxed with their surroundings. GoldLeaf Care professionals are trained to assist in the various therapies that are associated with recovery from a stroke and can help facilitate this type of rehabilitation.