May is National Stroke Awareness Month, an important time to raise awareness and education about how to recognize a stroke, what you can do to prevent a stroke, and how rehabilitation at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) can help you regain your independence after experiencing a stroke.
A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is blocked (ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel bursts in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). This lack of blood and oxygen to the brain causes the brain cells to die and can lead to significantly reduced brain function which may cause lifelong disability, if not treated immediately.
It is important to recognize the signs of stroke because time can make the difference between a successful recovery or further disability. After a stroke occurs, there is a small window of time when serious damage can be prevented. If you or a loved one are experiencing a stroke, seek help immediately. It is critical to treat a stroke within three hours after a stroke is recognized and diagnosed.
A person may be having a stroke if they are experiencing any of the following sudden symptoms:
- Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg.
- Confusion, speech difficulty.
- Blurred or loss of vision.
- Loss of balance and dizziness.
- Severe headache.
The sooner these symptoms are recognized, the more opportunity there is for a person to achieve full recovery and return to their active lifestyles.
A stroke can greatly impact a person’s quality of life and independence, but long-term disability from a stroke can be prevented if the signs are recognized as soon as possible. Rehabilitation immediately after a hospitalization from a stroke can also optimize recovery and help improve a person’s functional abilities, strength, and confidence in completing activities of daily living (ADL).
Recovery at a Skilled Nursing Center
At Prestige Care, our skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers can provide the care you need to recover as quickly as possible and return to your independent life. Our goal is to help patients achieve their highest level of recovery and provide them with the resources they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent a recurrent stroke.
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. so it is important to understand why skilled nursing and rehabilitation care can help improve your independence despite experiencing a life-changing event. A stroke can impact each person differently whether that be a loss of functional mobility, communication challenges, or inability to engage in daily activities.
If you are continuing your stroke recovery at a skilled nursing center, you may be required to go through a therapy program depending on the severity of your stroke. Therapy may be required if you are still experiencing any effects from your stroke such as paralysis, memory loss, reduced bladder and bowel control, speech or vision challenges, joint pain, or difficulty chewing or swallowing food.
It is important to begin your rehabilitation journey as soon as possible after experiencing a stroke so the brain can repair effectively through neuroplasticity. Your healthcare team may recommend you continue your recovery at a skilled nursing center with a combination of therapy such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
When you first arrive at a Prestige Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, our therapy teams will work with you and your doctor to determine an Individualized Care Plan and therapy program necessary to help you achieve your goals.
Your therapy program will consist of repetitive mental and physical exercises to help stimulate and retrain the brain. This may include physical therapy to enhance strength and functional motor skills, speech therapy to improve challenges with speaking, swallowing, or eating, and occupational therapy to regain independence in activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, and dressing.
Our team of healthcare professionals will also provide you with ongoing, comprehensive evaluations to ensure you are on track for a successful recovery, as well as an individual discharge plan once you are successfully able to return home.
According to the CDC, about 800,000 people in the United States experience a stroke every year, but 80% of strokes are preventable. If you have experienced a stroke or might be at a greater risk, there are some steps you can take to help manage your health to prevent further damage and disability. The American Stroke Association recommends eight ways to help prevent a stroke including:
- Check your blood pressure.
- Manage your cholesterol.
- Maintain your blood sugar levels.
- Exercise and keep an active lifestyle.
- Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein-rich foods.
- Manage a healthy weight.
- Reduce tobacco consumption.
- Talk to your healthcare team about any concerns.
Whether you are continuing your stroke recovery at a skilled nursing center or have successfully transitioned home after a stroke, it is important to understand that cognitive damage from a stroke does not have to permanently affect your quality of life and independence.
At Prestige, our dedicated skilled nursing and rehabilitation teams strive to meet the unique medical needs of each stroke patient to aid in their recovery journey and smoothly transition them from hospital to home. Our goal is not only for you to return to your active, independent lifestyle, but also to prevent rehospitalization through education and a comprehensive discharge plan. Contact a center near you to learn more about our skilled nursing and rehabilitation care.