As the caretaker for a loved one who has recently suffered a stroke, you may need to make the decision whether they should recover at home with assistance or enter a short term rehabilitation facility. Although recovering at home can be emotionally easier for your loved one, there are several advantages to short term rehab.
The short and long-term changes after a stroke can be devastating to your loved one. Everyone copes differently with physical and cognitive changes caused by a stroke. Some people try harder to overcome challenges, whereas others may fall into a depression and may not genuinely try to fight back against their limitations. Although your loved one will be more comfortable recovering in a familiar environment, they are more likely to abide by therapy programs in a rehab facility because they will be motivated to go home.
Constant challenges are important, and rehab facilities provide the physical and mental stimulation needed to keep your loved one striving to return home. Your loved one's home environment can make it easy for them to fall into a pattern of learned helplessness. When you care about a person, it is easy to be overly helpful because you want to avoid making your loved one uncomfortable or upset. This can cause your loved one to act more helpless than they are. Rehabilitation professionals can easily spot the true limitations of your loved one and know the difference between genuine and false effort.
Support From Other Residents
Many rehabilitation settings have group activities and therapy sessions, which can be invaluable to your loved one during their adjustment after a stroke. Your loved one may find it is easier to relate to others who are facing similar problems. Going home soon after a stroke may be frustrating, and your loved one may feel resentment.
It can be difficult to return to a familiar environment and be unable to do your usual activities. Your loved one may be easily agitated or reclusive, especially if they have experienced significant physical limitations after a stroke. Spending time with residents in a similar situation can give your loved one the time and opportunity to openly express their feeling to people who may truly understand what they are going through.
More Transitional Time
Your loved one may need the extra time to transition from the hospital to their home. A transitional period can give you the opportunity to discuss your loved one's limitations with doctors and other support staff. You will need to determine which, if any, modifications you can make to their home to increase comfort and accessibility.
Even if you cannot afford significant renovations, your loved one's doctor may be able to work with their insurance company to order any medically necessary assistive devices. You may need to rearrange items in your loved one's home so they can stay on the first floor if they cannot use the stairs. Changes to the bathroom are often necessary if your loved one has experienced hemiplegia and/or gait problems after a stroke.
You may need to purchase a shower chair and a handheld showerhead so they can continue to have independence when bathing. Depending on your loved one's living situation, you may need more time to find them a single-floor apartment or an assisted living facility. It is better for any necessary changes to be ready before your loved one returns home so they can be in a safe environment and begin adjusting to their life after a stroke.
Although you want your loved one at home after their stroke, you need to consider which environment will give them the best chance at regaining any lost functions. Short term rehab is a good intermediate step to transition from the hospital to home.Share