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Stroke Month: Planning for an Effective Recovery at Home
Worldwide, stroke is the second leading cause of death.  According to the World Health Organization, 15 million people suffer from strokes each year.
A stroke occurs when blood flow, and thus oxygen flow, to the brain is stopped.  The symptoms of a stroke depend on the area of the brain affected. In some cases a person may not know he/she is having a stroke. Because it’s imperative for people to get to the hospital as quickly as possible, you should familiarize yourself with the warning signs provided by the National Stroke Association’s Act FAST campaign:
• Face – When he/she smiles does one side of the face droop?
• Arms – Can he/she raise both arms without one drifting downward?
• Speech – When asked to speak is his/her speech slurred?
• Time – If you observe these signs, call 911 immediately.
Other possible symptoms include:  
• A sudden headache that gets worse when changing positions, bending or coughing
• Change in alertness (e.g. sleepiness, unconsciousness)
• Loss of senses (e.g. difficulty hearing, tasting, seeing, feeling pain or pressure)
• Confusion or loss of memory
• Dizziness, vertigo or loss of coordination
• Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
Recovering from a stroke can be an emotional, frustrating process for both the patient and their loved ones. Stroke victims must overcome physical, cognitive and emotional challenges including:
• Loss of mobility, movement, or feeling in one or more parts of the body (e.g. nerve, joint, and/or muscle damage)
• Difficulty communicating and/or understanding language (e.g. aphasia)
• Problems thinking or focusing (e.g. memory problems, poor judgment)
• Difficulty swallowing, poor nutrition
• Bladder and bowel problems

Regardless of the severity of your stroke, it is critical to take a proactive and informed approach to your post-stroke care. While leaving the hospital setting can be daunting, the return home is a major, positive step in the recovery process.

Download the Webinar

FREE Webinar on Stroke Prevention

Wednesday, June 26th at 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern

Presented by Muhammad Shazam Hussain, MD, stroke neurologist and Head of the Cleveland Clinic’s Stroke Program


Actively Planning for Discharge and Post-Hospitalization Recovery Can Smooth the Transition Home
Prior to Discharge 

 Speak with your discharge planner as early as possible about choices for rehabilitation. Weigh your options and consider your own comfort and physical, emotional and financial needs.
 Assess your abilities and identify areas in which you might need support such mobility, household activities, transportation, etc.
 Talk to your friends and family about the level of assistance they can provide during your recovery.
 If you think you may benefit from additional support, contact a reputable home care provider to discuss the benefits of a caregiver.

Recovering at Home

• Set goals and track your progress. Perform basic tasks as able but utilize support from family or caregivers for daily activities that pose a challenge.
• Establish a routine; create a regular schedule for exercise, mental stimulation, rest, and meals. Attend regular appointments with your doctors, especially your neurologist, and therapists.
• Limit your intake of fat, cholesterol and sodium and maintain a regular meal schedule even when you may not feel hungry to ensure proper nutrition.
• Ease into your post-hospitalization routine by allowing your caregiver to take on household responsibilities so that you can conserve energy for a faster recovery. 
• Identify and manage stress when it occurs and recognize any emotional challenges that could lead to depression. 
• If you are receiving home care, the provider should work with you collaboratively to develop a plan of care that meets all of your scheduling needs and care preferences.
For more information about transitioning home from the hospital and recovery at home, visit
Download our FREE patient guide on Post-Stroke Care
home care assistance post stroke care book