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Post Stroke Options for a parent

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Old 12-28-2012, 01:48 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Gray, Georgia (stroke victim); Houston, Texas (me)
Posts: 2
stevensone77 HB User
Post Stroke Options for a parent

I am a stroke newbie. My father had a stroke on 12/12/12. He is currently in Rehab and has left side weakness and some memory loss and emotional episodes (extreme sadness, rage, aggression). He has made tremendous progress in rehab. He has gone from total paralysis to limited use of left hand, using a wheelchair independently (with right leg) and walking with a walker and gait belt. I am so impressed with his increase in ability in such a short time. The rehab facility has set a tentative release date for 1/11/13 with a recommendation of continued in-home PT, OT, and Speech.
I am in need of advice, though I know no one can make a decision for me.
My mom and dad live in Georgia. I live in Texas. While my parents are young (65), my mother has knee problems and has difficulty with her own mobility. My dad now has the stroke related disabilities. I am struggling on what to do when my dad is released from rehab. He wants to come back to his home, which is not easily wheelchair accessible (though I am having a ramp built this weekend and have been moving furniture, cleaning out areas, putting bars in restroom, etc) and live independently with my mother as his caregiver. I do not think that she is strong enough for this or emotionally capable. The therapists agreed with me that they are concerned that she will not be able to handle him for the first few months. They have said it would be best for me to take my parents back to Texas with me for a few months while he continues in-home therapy. This is what I would like to do, but my father is very upset by the idea.
What are my options? Do you think that it would be detrimental to move my dad to Texas for a few months if he really doesn't want to go? Would it cause him too much stress? Are there other options for in-home care that will truly provide my mother the support that SHE needs?
Any advice, experience, etc is more appreciated than you know.

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:35 PM   #2
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Re: Post Stroke Options for a parent

Hello to you Stevensone, and welcome to our group of stroke survivors and their families. We are so happy to have you with us. I think you will find this a wonderful place for support and encouragement. We all understand how difficult it can be for family members to make all the adjustments required for stroke recovery... emotionally and physically.

In my experience, although I wanted to go home, I knew I could not for a while. I slept a good part of the first year, and had to have someone with me at all times, just to guard me against falls, which I had everyday. I could not burden my parents with my care, except for spending lots of time with my 9 year old son. I did qualify for in home services, which many states provide, under the name of aging and independent services. You might look up Georgias programs online. (That criteria is having limited funds).

Having both your parents with you for enough time to assess the situation sounds like a great idea. Strokes last a second but do change your life forever. I would want to make sure your mother knows what needs he will have, and learn where she might need help. The last thing you want is for your mother to become overwhelmed and alone.

You could perhaps help them create a routine that they can take home with them. Your dad will likely need physical therapy, regular medications, proper diet and visits to his doctor. At home, he will need lots of understanding and emotional support. You will need to manage his anger and protect your mother from this difficult aspect of recovery. We all have to go through that part. There is often depression, anxiety and fear.

A big part of recovery is the acceptance that we need help, and that is one hard thing to do for most of us. Particularly those of us who have always been independent and healthy. I would venture to say men find that even harder.

If he will not be happy unless he is home, and your mother wants that too, that is another story. You may need to take a leave of absence if possible to be there and get them going with some help. The help could be for you mother, to get the housework done for her, to prepare meals, or to help dad with personal needs bathing, dressing etc. Seek whatever benefits their insurance company offers and inquire about all county and state aid you can get.

The one thing about stroke recovery that we all takes a long time to recover, but with the right attitude and a certain zest for life, recovery can be an amazing process. It is wonderful that you have reached out for help, as a loving a caring daughter.

We are here for you whenever you need us...
Love janet

Old 01-02-2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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Re: Post Stroke Options for a parent

Great post from Janet. This is the sort of nightmare that keeps me up: I am the old parent here and son and daughter are far away.

I also have the knowledge of my brother when stroke hit him. He never went home after rehab and I thought that was a mistake. So my thinking is to try and get the necessary outside help as Janet suggests, adapt the house as best possible and settle them into a routine. It is my belief that in this setting your father will put forth his best effort to recover. The brain keeps healing itself. Just my thoughts. Wishing you strength and hope and optimism.

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