Strokes occur when a clot forms in a blood vessel or travels to an important brain region from another part of the body, cutting off blood supply to that area.
Clogged arteries are the leading cause of strokes because they cut off blood flow to the brain. A stroke caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain is called an ischemic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, is caused by bleeding from an artery in the brain, putting pressure on the brain’s surrounding tissues.
Both types of strokes have the potential to cause severe damage to the brain’s tissues very fast and what’s worse, brain aging following an ischemic stroke is estimated to be 3.6 years per hour.
Stroke causes cognitive decline at twice the normal rate of aging of the brain and it can be fatal or lead to permanent brain and bodily damage if treatment is delayed. Stroke sufferers may spend months or even years in rehabilitation in an effort to reclaim their pre-stroke lives. Find out more here https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2019/palliative-care.html.
A guide to palliative care
Palliative care refers to a subset of medical treatment for those with serious illnesses. It’s designed to alleviate the discomfort, pain, and stress that come with a critical health condition like a stroke. The objective is to make your life and that of your loved ones better.
In order to provide you with additional comfort, your regular medical team will collaborate with a group of doctors, nurses, social workers, and other specialists to provide you with palliative care. It’s suitable no matter how old you are or how far along in your illness you are.
How palliative care can help
The most noticeable signs of a stroke are weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. Stroke survivors may also deal with speech and language difficulties, headaches, erratic behavior, balance issues, memory lapses, vision impairments, and psychological issues.
Getting therapy quickly after the onset of stroke symptoms helps lessen the severity of the damage. Although the palliative care team should be consulted at any point in the course of a patient’s illness, earlier involvement is preferable. Read more here.
Your palliative care team can help you understand whether or not symptoms like those you’re experiencing are permanent. Depression and rage are frequent emotions following a stroke, but with the aid of the palliative care team’s medications and therapies, you can feel better.
In the case of a stroke caused by a blood clot, drugs can be used to break up the clot and restore blood flow. Clots can sometimes be surgically removed. Surgery, blood pressure control to minimize brain swelling, and anti-seizure medication may all be used to treat a hemorrhagic stroke.
You should also know that stroke survivors may also experience difficulties with their muscles and their ability to move around. Your muscles may spasm, causing you discomfort. But, the amazing thing to know is that palliative care after a stroke can alleviate the suffering and make things more comfortable for you. Oh, and drugs and other treatments can be used to alleviate the patient’s suffering as well.
You can expect guidance from your palliative care team as you weigh the pros and cons of available treatments and determine how they relate to your individual needs. The specialists will work closely with your primary care physicians to lessen your suffering from pain and medication adverse effects.
It’s up to you and your loved ones to decide whether or not to have a feeding tube if you have difficulty swallowing. They will provide you and your loved ones with advice on how to handle the situation.
You can discuss your expectations and needs for the future with your palliative care team at home. In order to help you prepare both psychologically and physically, experts will provide you with information about what to anticipate. They will talk to you about your options, including home health care, assisted living, skilled nursing, and acute rehabilitation, to determine what you need.
The team’s specialists will detail their capabilities across all available care tiers. They will be upfront and honest about the limitations of their services. And they will help you get the resources essential to living a fulfilling life.
Stroke presents a unique set of obstacles for patients and their loved ones, from the unpleasant effects of treatment to the emotional toll taken on caregivers. You can talk to them about anything bothering you, whether it’s physical pain, emotional distress, or mental distress.
As an added bonus, they’ll aid you and your loved ones in making choices, no matter how big or small they might be. They will make it easier for you to discuss your health with your loved ones and other medical professionals, as well as define what you hope to achieve from treatment.