How Stroke Survivors Can Enhance Mobility

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Each year an estimated 795,000 people in the United States experience a stroke, a condition that occurs due to a blood clot in the brain. Many of these individuals experience balance and mobility issues following their strokes. Help your senior loved one increase mobility and balance with the following methods.

Medications

Spasticity is common after a stroke. When spasticity occurs, the muscles are extremely tight and resistant to stretching, and it can make movement difficult and cause painful muscle spasms to occur. There are several oral medications available to reduce spasticity. Some of the medications work by loosening the muscles directly, while others affect the central nervous system. Medications that may be prescribed to alleviate spasticity include dantrolene sodium, tizanidine, baclofen, and benzodiazepines. Talk with your loved one’s doctor about medications that may help.

Stretches

Stretching as recommended by a doctor or physical therapist is one of the most important things your loved one can do to increase mobility. For optimal results, stretches should be done at least three times per day, tight muscles should be gently stretched throughout the day, and limb repositioning should happen frequently. 

Your loved one may need help to do these stretches properly and on a regular basis. Being the primary caregiver for a stroke survivor can be extremely challenging, especially if your loved one’s stroke was particularly severe. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Flower Mound, TX, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Exercises

Different exercises can increase range of motion and mobility. Many of these exercises can be done sitting or lying down if your loved one has difficulty standing. These exercises include: 

  • Leg extensions
  • Seated marching
  • Pulling the knees to the chest
  • Toe taps
  • Unweighted bicep curls
  • Tabletop circles
  • Weighted arm opening
  • Tabletop pushing
  • Tabletop leaning

Talk with your loved one’s physical therapist for other exercise suggestions and help with performing the above recommended exercises. If your loved one needs assistance with exercises, a trained professional caregiver can be of immense help. The caregiver can coordinate with your loved one’s medical team to ensure exercises are done safely and with the proper form. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional Flower Mound Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.

Injections

A doctor can give your loved one a nerve block injection to block the chemicals that are tightening his or her muscles. Because the injections come with side effects, the doctor will administer the injection directly into the affected limb or specific muscle group. Side effects may include pain at the injection site, swelling and soreness of the affected muscles, a burning or tingling sensation, and a lack of energy.

Surgery

In extreme cases, surgery on the brain, muscles, or joints may restore movement. These surgeries work by blocking the pain and loosening muscles.

Mobility Devices

Many seniors become depressed after having a stroke and fear they won’t be able to resume the things they used to enjoy. The following mobility devices can help your loved one move while he or she recovers:

  • Wheelchairs are typically manual and require someone to push. These are useful when outdoors or at the grocery store.
  • Electric scooters can be used alone. They do require charging, so it’s important that your loved one is mindful about keeping the battery charged before leaving the home.
  • Walkers can help a senior who is able to walk but has balance issues.
  • Lift chairs offer a comfortable place to rest and help your loved one stand and sit via a lifting mechanism.

Caring for a loved one who has had a stroke can be more than families without training and expertise can manage on their own, and with professional home care, they don’t have to. When researching agencies that provide senior home care, Flower Mound, TX, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 468-6010.