A Guide To Understanding How In Home Care Can Permit Your Parent To Retain His Or Her Dignity After A Stroke

Posted on: 6 June 2017


If your mom or dad has recently experienced a stroke, a full recovery and return to their previous lifestyle may be possible, but doing so is likely to require a lot of work. Although the effects of a stroke can vary widely, some of the more common and particularly humiliating results of a stroke include trouble eating or drinking. It's important to note that those symptoms can be very humiliating and in home care with speech therapy is often the best way to facilitate recovery while permitting your mom or dad to maintain their dignity after a stroke. The following information will permit you to have a better understanding of what to expect from in home care therapies and how they can impact your parent's recovery.        

Understanding The Benefits And Use Of Speech Therapy

It's often surprising to discover that speech therapy includes much more than just teaching somehow to speak correctly. After a stroke, speech therapy is often necessary for everything from providing appropriate exercises to learn how to swallow various thicknesses of food to alternative means of communications if the stroke was severe enough that a full or even significant amount of recovery is not expected. 

You should expect a care and recovery plan to be tailored to your parent's specific needs and goals. It is not a one-size-fits-all option and recovery does not occur overnight. 

Knowing What To Expect From The Speech Therapy

Since it's obvious that drooling or dropping food from the mouth because your mom or dad can no longer hold their mouth closed is embarrassing and undignified, you may find that finding an experienced speech therapist who will come to your home is one of the kindest gifts you can give your parent. That professional may suggest a newer treatment option, known as guided imagery, to address the deficit or coughing and breathing exercises.

Alternatively, exercises to trigger sensitivity at the appropriate time to assist in chewing and swallowing might be necessary, as well as the supervised use of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation, or NMES. NMES consists of small jolts of electricity to the affected area, in order to prevent atrophy and facilitate improvement to the unused or damaged area. It can only be provided by an expert who has been trained to do so.

Unfortunately, patients who cannot consistently chew and swallow as they should are at a higher risk of aspirating those solids or liquids into their lungs, which can quickly turn into a difficult to treat type of pneumonia. The ability to cough would normally prevent foreign objects from entering the lungs. If that skill was impacted by the stroke, it's easy to why speech therapy is so crucial for your parent's recovery and future good health.

In conclusion, a stroke can have a devastating impact on your parent's physical abilities and self-esteem, given the disabilities so often associated with a stroke. As a result, if your mom or dad has had a stroke lately that affected his or her ability to swallow and is expected to be released from the hospital soon, you need to be aware of the following information about how in home speech therapy can help.