According to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, about 800,000 people in the United States experience a stroke every year, and about 75% of those occur in adults over the age of 65.
A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is blocked (ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel bursts in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). As brain cells begin to die from lack of oxygen, brain function is significantly reduced which can lead to short-term or long-term disability.
Whether you are recovering from a stroke at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), or have successfully returned home following a stroke, it is important to maintain your health to prevent hospital readmission, or even a second stroke.
According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), about one in four people who have experienced a stroke will suffer a reoccurrence. The risk of another stroke can significantly be reduced by ensuring you have the resources and tools you need to continue your recovery and maintain a healthy lifestyle. A person can achieve full recovery if a stroke is treated immediately but it is critical to understand how to manage the effects of a stroke and return to your independent lifestyle.
The challenges a person may face after a stroke can largely depend on where in the brain the stroke has occurred. Some may experience physical challenges such as reduced mobility function, paralysis, or swallowing issues, while others may experience cognitive impairment such as memory loss or behavioral and mental health issues. Regardless of the various effects a person may experience after a stroke, recovery is possible. A stroke does not have to permanently affect your quality of life and independence.
During a stay at a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, your team of clinical professionals will work with you to establish a personalized care plan intended to help you recover from a stroke. This may include cognitive exercises to improve memory loss and problem-solving skills, physical therapy exercises to improve mobility, or a customized meal plan to ensure you are receiving the nutrients you need to lower blood pressure and regain strength.
Post-acute care not only helps you recover from a stroke, but also provides you with the resources you need to continue living a healthy lifestyle upon your return home. At Prestige, we work with each patient to discuss post-discharge care options, provide resources to help manage blood pressure, and help establish an at-home exercise and diet plan.
Regardless of where you are in your stroke rehabilitation journey, there are steps you can take to enhance your stroke recovery and reduce your risk of a reoccurrence. The ASA recommends following these steps to help manage your health and prevent a second stroke:
- Manage high blood pressure
- Eliminate smoking and tobacco use
- Eat a healthy nutrient-rich diet
- Implement a daily exercise routine
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
An unexpected stroke can be caused by high blood pressure which may be a result of a combination of high stress levels, smoking and tobacco use, lack of exercise, and consuming an unhealthy diet. At Prestige, we help each patient develop a treatment plan that can reduce and manage blood pressure as they are recovering. This may involve blood pressure medication, resources to manage stress and reduce/eliminate smoking, and a customized diet of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. It is critical to continue these healthy habits as you transition back home in order to reduce your risk of rehospitalization and prevent another stroke.
Establish a Healthy Diet & Exercise Routine
During your stroke recovery at a skilled nursing center, your dietary team will work with you to establish a customized nutrition plan to coincide with your overall recovery. Following a healthy meal plan post-discharge is crucial in maintaining your health after a stroke. Your registered dietitian may suggest a Mediterranean diet to help improve cognitive issues, a protein-rich meal plan to increase functional mobility and strength, or a plant-based diet to reduce blood pressure.
Your team of highly skilled caregivers will provide you with an exercise and therapy program specifically tailored to your individual medical needs. This may include a combination of exercises to enhance motor skills, speech therapy to improve communication or swallowing challenges, and cognitive therapy to regain memory and problem-solving skills. Once you are ready to be discharged, your healthcare team may recommend an at-home exercise plan to ensure you are staying active and continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle.
At Prestige Care, we understand the importance of living an independent life after a serious health event and our highly skilled clinical teams are committed to supporting each stroke patient throughout their recovery journey. While we understand that a stroke can cause long-term challenges such as reduced motor function ability, swallowing difficulties, or cognitive issues, we know there are steps you can take to continue improving your wellbeing and reduce your risk for another stroke.
Our goal is to successfully transition each patient from hospital to home with the resources they need to help manage their health post-stroke and reduce their risk for readmission. Learn more about our Stroke Rehabilitation services at www.prestigecare.com/skilled-nursing.