The early days after having a stroke are often very tiring and people who have had stroke and are in hospital may find it difficult to sleep well. Taking in your Mum or Dad’s pillow from home may help them to get comfortable.
After having a stroke, people may have difficulty swallowing. A speech and language therapist will assess the ability to swallow and advise on management. Physiotherapists in hospital will assess movement and sensation and balance and advise on the best ways to move around. Getting back on your feet is very important as early as possible after stroke.
As a visitor, you will often sit by your Mum, Dad or relatives bed. In the very early stages, if the person who has had a stroke is finding it difficult to move one side of the body and cannot see one side, they may need reassurance from the side, which is stronger. As soon as the person is more relaxed about being in hospital, try to approach them from the weaker side so that their attention is drawn to that side.
Even if movement is very difficult, taking a few really deep breaths in and out slowly and looking slowly to the left side and then to the right side a few times will help to relax the neck and shoulders, which is often an area of muscle tension. Reminding your Mum, Dad or relative to do this regularly, for example every time they have a cup of tea or coffee will help establish a routine of activity and make them more comfortable.
Is there more recovery early after stroke?
The first few months following stroke is when fastest recovery takes place. During this time, the body and brain are re-organising themselves to cope with the damage caused by the stroke, which is an interruption in the blood supply to the brain.
Specialist neurological physiotherapy in the period soon after stroke is extremely helpful in guiding the body to re-organise itself (neuroplasticity) in the best possible way. People who have had strokes are often not very confident on their feet and working with an experienced physiotherapist helps to build confidence and improve balance.
The more practice and treatment a person with stroke has early after stroke, the more quickly they will re-gain their confidence. Specialist neurological physiotherapists will work with each person after stroke, at their pace, to improve their movement control and get them back to doing things they enjoy.
At heads up! we work with our patients to create tailored treatment programmes and are here for continual support, advice, information and encouragement.
Get in touch to talk to a physiotherapist and find out how we can help your Mum, Dad, family member or friend in their stroke recovery.