An optimistic and engaged survivor will experience an improved recovery outcome, given the deficits. Taming depression is a prerequisite for successful rehabilitation.
Physical, occupational, speech, aqua and psychological therapy make up the BIG 5 traditional therapy approaches. Insist on a neuro trained and experienced PT, and OT as part of your recovery team. When reimbursed traditional therapy terminates IS NOT the time to stop your stroke recovery efforts. KEEP GOING! It is likely that additional recovery functionality can be achieved with the following strategies.
Committing to a Brain & Heart Heathy Lifestyle increases your chances of achieving an improved recovery. It also reduces your likelihood of suffering a second stroke. A healthy lifestyle is composed of physical fitness activity, intellectual stimulation, maintaining a healthy diet, focusing alcoholic consumption on red wine, and eliminating smoking.
This a chance for the motivated and engaged survivor to get the benefit of state-of-the-art medical treatment. Results can be very helpful! Managing expectations, being in the developmental stage, there is no guarantee that clinical research participation will be helpful for an individual. That said – nothing tried, nothing gained!
These techniques are known by several names such as alternative, integrative, functional, and holistic medicine and are out of the traditional medicine mainstream. Though traditional medical practitioners sometimes shun them for lack of evidence-based research, many of these techniques have proven to be surprisingly effective and worthy of consideration for many survivors.
Often in stroke recovery survivors will find that what was in the past is not in the future. However, there are many ways to skin a cat – so to speak. Open your mind to creativity, flexibility and learning new ways to accomplish the task at hand.
There is a brave new world that is constantly changing and evolving. And so too, do you. There are new or improved technologies which may result in new therapies and equipment or devices that may improve your life many years after a stroke. Evolutionary thinking may result in either biopharmaceuticals or pharmaceuticals which, likewise, may offer opportunities to improve your recovery. By being actively inquisitive, new lifestyle options may also present themselves. Because many of these opportunities can be somewhat difficult to identify the survivor and/or their caregiver may require a bit of coaching assistance.
The caregiver partner has a place at the table! Successful recovery is greatly enhanced by the constructive actions of the caregiver partner. Remember the importance of fulfilling your own needs, while being a successful caregiver. It is important to keep in mind the stroke’s impact on the caregiver’s life.
Support by extended family, friends and the community at large are very constructive in recovery. Many stroke survivors find themselves psychologically, and sometimes physically, isolated. Support can include, among other things, events, local support groups and inclusion in social situations. Also, an understanding that the survivor and/or their caregiver partner may require help that they are reticent to request is very helpful.
Never leave a physician’s office with unanswered questions or without a full understanding of terminology or next steps. Make a question list to guide the conversation. Also, it may be best to be accompanied by the caregiver or other interested party to insure a more complete understanding of the situation.
Personal independence is the holy grail of stroke recovery. Living in a location that facilitates independence is of utmost importance. That means for example – living in a situation that does not have stairs that need to be climbed either at the entrance or within the home. Also, living in a climate without the threat of ice or snow is very helpful.
“More giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered” according to the esteemed Mayo Clinic, “data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do”. These include such positive things as relieving stress and soothing tension, pain relief, improving immune systems, and perhaps most importantly – increasing survivor and caregiver personal satisfaction and happiness.