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Is a Stroke a Disease or a Medical Condition? What Products Can Help During Recovery?

Signs of a Stroke A stroke is a disease that afflicts the arteries within the brain and those leading to it. Depending on the cause of stroke, it can be classified into hemorrhagic stroke or ischemic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weak blood vessel leaks and prevents adequate blood flow to the brain. An ischemic stroke is caused when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain.

A temporary clot that obstructs blood flow to the brain for a brief period of time can cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA). It can persist for up to 24 hours before disappearing. Also called a mini stroke, a TIA is a warning signal that you may experience a stroke in the near future. In a majority of the cases, people who've experienced a TIA have a stroke within a year.

Key facts about stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

  • Stroke proves fatal to nearly 130,000 Americans each year; that's 1 out of every 20 deaths.
  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States
  • Over 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke every year
  • Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the country
  • Up to 80 per cent of stroke cases are preventable

Risks and symptoms

The major risk factors for stroke include high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking. Healthy lifestyle choices can greatly reduce your risk for stroke. They include maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol consumption.

Stroke is associated with the following symptoms:

  • Sudden weakness in the arm, leg, face or one side of the body
  • Sudden loss of or reduced vision, typically occurring in one eye
  • Sudden loss of strength and co-ordination; you may also find it difficult to speak or understand speech
  • Frequent episodes of dizziness and/or falls
  • Sudden onset of severe headache followed by a loss of consciousness

Recovery time and success after a stroke vary from case to case. The most immediate concern, is of course, returning to daily activities following a stroke. Besides long-term care, stroke rehabilitation can take many forms, such as physical activities and technology-assisted activities to cognitive activities and experimental therapies.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

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Activities of daily living (ADL) basically describe activities that we engage in on a daily basis, at home, at work, at school/college, or when at leisure. After a stroke, patients will not be able to get back to complex activities, but it is possible that they may struggle to return to routine activities of self-care, including bathing, eating and dressing.

Here's where the assistance of a caregiver can be invaluable. In quite a few cases, a family member may assume responsibilities of a caregiver. But, mostly, family members of the patient rely on the services of a professional caregiver because caring for a stroke survivor is hard work and technique-oriented, depending on the severity of stroke. In-home care for stroke patients can be full-time or delivered a couple of hours per week.

Caregivers may be hired temporarily as the patient recovers or provide their service on a long-term basis for patients whose recovery is expected to continue over a longer period of time. In-home care is often advised for patients who haven't regained their full range of abilities. A caregiver can help the patient in the following ways:

  • Assistance with mobility and transportation, including driving the patient to doctor's appointments or support group meetings
  • Repetitive, supervised practice of day-to-day activities
  • Home cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and meal preparations
  • Companionship, encouragement and mental support

A trained caregiver knows how to motivate patients to stick to their rehabilitation program while creating an environment of dignity, safety and comfort. The caregiver becomes the patient's confidante and friend, and therefore his/her intervention is extremely useful in aiding successful recovery.

Comfort Grip Angled Utensils View Helpful Daily Living Aids:    Adaptive Dining Products, Bedroom Assistance, Emergency Alert Devices, Everyday Assistance, Exercise, Miscellaneous 


Aids to daily living

Stroke patients often face difficulties with self-feeding. An excellent way to facilitate independent self-feeding is through the use of adaptive dining products. Such aids to daily living can include specially designed cutlery for easy and convenient eating. Some of these tools that make mealtimes less frustrating and more enjoyable are:

Bathroom safety is also critical for stroke patients. Without proper care and supervision, patients can slip and fall on hard tile floors, suffering injuries in the process. Some bathroom aids for daily living that are worth the investment include hinged elevated toilet seats, adjustable shower seats with a back and armrests, rotating shower stool and locking elevated toilet seats.

Bathroom Safety Products   View All Bathroom Safety Products:   Commodes, PVC Chairs, Shower Chairs, Shower Heads, Toilet Seats, Safety Frames, Transfer Benches and Grab Bars   


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