Staying Safe at Home After a Stroke


BrightStar Care

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Posted on

Jul 19, 2023


Florida - Southwest

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A stroke can be a life-changing experience for the survivor and their family. Strokes vary in type and severity, but many people have been where you are now—facing difficulties with mobility, vision, speech, swallowing, cognition, and daily functioning. Making progress after a stroke can feel overwhelming, but with the proper rehabilitation, seniors can regain their strength, courage, and independence over the coming months and years. Learn more about stroke in seniors and how to stay safe at home during stroke recovery with tips from BrightStar Care. 

Recovering from a Stroke at Home 

Determining the appropriate level of aftercare is vitally important. Some people benefit the most from in-patient rehab. Others are allowed to return home immediately following discharge from the hospital. Either way, any long-term recovery plan eventually includes at-home rehabilitation. 

It may be comforting at first to return home to a familiar environment, but life may not return to normal. Things that used to be easy—like getting dressed, using the bathroom, cooking, and cleaning—may be more difficult now. Rehabilitation may include visits to an out-patient medical facility, but much of the recovery can take place right in the living room. Follow these tips to safely recover from a stroke at home. 

Preparing your environment is a simple way to prevent falls after a stroke. Clear a path to the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen and avoid slick surfaces. Remove loose carpets or runners or secure them to the ground to improve traction. If you have stairs in the home, use the handrails at all times.

Make Changes to the Living Environment 

Little changes can make a big difference. Here’s what to try: 

  • Remedy critical dangers like making sure the water temperature isn’t too hot 
  • Remove slipping, tripping, and balance hazards.(Opens in a new window)
  • Keep everyday items on the kitchen counter for easy access. 
  • Simplify bedding in the sleeping area. 
  • Increase bathroom accessibility with grab bars, a walk-in tub or shower, and a comfort-height toilet seat. 
  • Post a list of emergency contacts in a prominent location. 

Take Steps to Prevent Another Stroke 

Having a stroke increases your risk for another. Some causes of stroke in seniors are beyond your control. For instance, once you turn 55, the odds double every decade. Women also have a higher risk than men, and African-Americans have more strokes than Caucasians. Even so, lifestyle changes can make a big impact on the long-term health of a stroke survivor. Here’s how to minimize the risk of having another stroke:(Opens in a new window)


  • Quit smoking, vaping, and using tobacco. 
  • Manage high blood pressure. 
  • Increase daily physical activity to prevent weight gain. 
  • Manage existing diabetes. 
  • Avoid food high in trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol. 

Do Post-Stroke Exercises 

For recovering stroke survivors, physical activity can make the difference between remaining dependent and gradually gaining independence. Please talk to your doctor before doing these post-stroke exercises recommended by the American Stroke Association (Opens in a new window).  

  • Bridge weight shifts: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Lift your hips toward the ceiling so your shoulders, hips, and knees are in a straight line. Holding your arms out for support and keeping your hips level with the floor, shift your weight slowly from the left leg to the right leg. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise until your legs become tired. 
  • Mini lunges: Start in a standing position with your hands on the hips. Step forward with one foot and bend your knee slightly, keeping your hip, pelvis, knee, and ankle in a straight line. Return to the standing position and repeat eight to 10 times on each side. 
  • Swiss ball weight shifts: Sit in a chair with an exercise ball between your knees. Scoot to the front of your seat and put your hands on the ball. Roll the ball away and bend forward until your elbows touch the ball. Return to the starting position and repeat eight to 10 times. Then, roll the ball out at an angle on the right side eight to 10 times, followed by eight to 10 times on the left side. 
  • Crumpling a piece of paper: Sit at a table with a piece of printer paper in front of you. Pick up the paper and crumple it with both hands, keeping your shoulders down and back. Then, uncrumple the paper using the same two-handed technique. 

Consider Arranging In-Home Stroke Care for Seniors 

Some stroke survivors feel comfortable handling daily tasks independently. For others, hiring a non-medical in-home care provider (Opens in a new window) may be necessary. This ensures your loved one has long-term, comfort-focused assistance with dressing, personal hygiene, light housekeeping, and meal preparation. 

Arranging in-home personal care services can improve senior health and safety after a stroke. Here’s how: 

  • Reduce the risk of slips and falls: Mobility limitations and increased fatigue raise the risk of an accident. A care professional can help seniors safely navigate the stairs, use the bathroom, and get in and out of bed. 
  • Assist with household tasks: Physical and cognitive limitations can make shopping, cooking, driving, and housekeeping more difficult. A caregiver can take over these tasks or arrange services like grocery delivery and transportation to appointments. 
  • Offer reminders: A stroke survivor’s rehabilitation may involve taking medication, performing at-home exercises, or attending medical appointments. An in-home care provider can remind seniors to do these things at the allotted times. 
  • Stick to dietary recommendations: Difficulty eating and swallowing are common concerns after a stroke. Having a caregiver there to prepare prescribed foods and monitor your loved one at mealtimes ensures proper nutrition and food safety. 
  • Watch for signs of another stroke: One in four stroke survivors (Opens in a new window) have had a previous stroke. Care professionals know to watch for signs of stroke in seniors (Opens in a new window) and call 911 for help if necessary. 

Choose BrightStar Care 

If you’re looking for in-home care for seniors previously suffering from a stroke, turn to BrightStar Care. We are committed to providing A Higher Standard of Care by only hiring caregivers who exemplify compassion and empathy. Then, we match them to you based on your personality and lifestyle. For added peace of mind, we also have skilled nursing care (Opens in a new window) available if you need assistance with medical machinery, medication management, wound care, and other nursing services. To learn more about our offerings, please contact us (Opens in a new window) at 866-618-7827. 

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How In-Home Care Can Support Stroke Recovery

The aftermath of a stroke can be devastating and present many challenges that require specialized personal care and dedicated attention for senior patients. If a stroke has significantly impaired your loved ones physical ability and emotional well-being, you may be worried and frightened about the road ahead.Professional stroke home care can be a beacon of hope.Visiting Angels experienced caregivers will help your senior safely age in place after a stroke in the comfort of home. Your loved one will receive a non-medical customized home care plan to assist them with their daily routines and activities. Visiting Angels care providers will then foster ongoing companionship and one-to-one support on your seniors road to recovery.Professional Help at Home After a StrokeEvery year, nearly 800,000 U.S. adults experience a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many endure reduced mobility that affects their safety and independence at home.Like many primary caregivers tending to a stroke survivor, you may doubt whether you can provide the best care especially while balancing work, personal, and family obligations.With the help of Visiting Angels, you dont have to provide home care alone.Visiting Angels understands the impact of stroke and can deliver personalized care that addresses your loved ones limitations. Here are some common stroke after-affects your senior may be experiencing and how Visiting Angels can help:Cognitive difficultiesVisiting Angels can implement exercises, games, and routines to enhance your seniors memory, problem-solving, communication, and cognitive skills. Caregivers will provide emotional support and encouragement, creating a conducive environment that promotes cognitive rehabilitation and overall well-being.Difficulty swallowingIf your senior has swallowing problems, Visiting Angels will assist in preparing tailored meals and ensuring safe consumption. Caregivers will provide reminders about taking medications, performing therapeutic exercises, and attending appointments. Caregivers can also monitor your senior for signs of choking or increased difficulty swallowing.Mood changesVisiting Angels provides camaraderie and companion care that can help your older adult cope with feelings of frustration, sadness, depression, and isolation that may arise during their recovery.Reduced mobilityVisiting Angels will be by your loved ones side to reduce the risk of falls, assist with transfers, and help your older adult navigate the stairs, bathroom, and other high-fall-risk areas of the home.Speech and communication challengesVisiting Angels will get to know your loved one and understand their preferences, needs, and cues even if they have a limited ability to speak or understand. Caregivers will also remind them to perform therapeutic speech exercises, if needed.Vision concernsVisiting Angels will make recommendations to improve household safety and quality of life for your senior with reduced vision  such as adding light, marking areas that could cause accidents, adapting activities for low-vision needs, running errands, and providing transportation.Choose Visiting Angels for Home Care Stroke AssistanceIf your senior has a stroke, they are at a higher risk of having a second one. Survival chances and positive treatment outcomes increase when stroke symptoms are identified and treated early. An in-home professional caregiver from Visiting Angels by your loved ones side can monitor for stroke signs and request immediate life-saving emergency assistance.Visiting Angels also provides a Ready, Set, Go Home program that helps seniors successfully transition to home following a hospitalization, including after a stroke. The program includes home visits to identify and reduce the risk of preventable events or mishaps that could cause a return to the hospital or emergency room. Visiting Angels caregivers can also visit your senior in the hospital or rehab facility and have a plan in place before discharge to ensure you have peace of mind.Surviving a stroke doesnt mean your loved one has to give up their independence or move away from the home they love. Learn how Visiting Angels can help your senior age in place after a stroke through a free home care consultation.


May is both National Arthritis Awareness Month and National Stroke Awareness Month. While those may seem unrelated afflictions, they have at least three essential things in common: Anybody can be affected by them; the incidence of both conditions increases with age; and the things you can do to help one condition may also help or prevent the other. Do You Have Arthritis?Youre not alone. Far from it. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., with more than 100 types and related conditions. Arthritis does not respect age, sex or race. Curiously, geography may be a factor. Those in rural areas are somewhat more prone to arthritis than urban dwellers, but thats not to suggest that moving from one to the other would affect your arthritis. The most common symptoms:Joint swellingPain in the jointsStiffness and diminished range of motionYou may have mild symptoms, and your symptoms may come and go. Progression can be slow or sudden. We consider arthritis severe when chronic pain makes it difficult to perform routine activities, walking, dressing, cooking, and climbing stairs. You may think of arthritis by its visible symptoms: knobby finger joints, for example. But arthritis can be invisible, detected only through X-ray or MRI.So far, we've talked about the symptoms primarily associated with osteoarthritis. Gout is a type of arthritis often associated with diet and shows up as severe joint pain. Autoimmune types of arthritis are different still, marked by inflammation and can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, and skin. Autoimmune is a broad category that includes rheumatoid, psoriatic, spinal, and juvenile variations. Finally, bacteria entering a cut or sore can introduce arthritis of the infectious type.We have found one of the best sources for arthritis and treatment is "Answers To Your Arthritis Questions," available from the Arthritis Foundation ( The information is worth reviewing if you are concerned about the types, causes, and treatment. What can you do if you have arthritis? Rely on non-drug therapies as much as possible.Apply heat and cold treatments to help ease pain and stiffness.Use braces, canes, and assistive devices to address mobility issues. Consult your doctor before any treatment. A treatment that might be right for one person might not be for another. You don't want to aggravate your condition or dismiss a therapy because you tried it, and it didn't work. Your doctor may also prescribe physical or occupational therapy to increase strength, range of motion and mobility, and help with advice on protecting your joint.Youll also want to explore therapies that you can integrate with conventional treatments. Supplements, massage, acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, meditation, and relaxation techniques can help you manage pain and help with depression. Many who never thought a holistic medicine approach was for them have found these therapies complement their conventional treatment, if not replacing it. Tell Your Arthritis to Take a WalkWalking is proven to improve arthritis pain, fatigue, function, and quality of life. What better time to start or recommit yourself to a walking routine than the spring? Walking is an excellent way for people with arthritis who live in rural areas to be physically active. For those uncertain about walking, proven programs such as Walk with Ease can help people get started.The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, found on, recommends all adults (including adults with arthritis) get two and a half hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Activities may include brisk walking per week. Also, include muscle-strengthening exercises two or more days a week. Exercise and activity are one area where arthritis treatment and stroke prevention cross paths. Most doctors recommend a generally healthy lifestyle and physical activity for both. Walking serves the purpose very well, so your walking routine is doing double-duty to prevent stroke. Quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthfully, getting enough sleep, and limiting stress also can help control inflammation, protect joints and contribute to overall health. These healthy habits may also prevent strokes. So, let's talk about stroke  especially if you think it doesnt apply to you.  80% of Strokes Are PreventableIts a tragedy an avoidable tragedy that so many people live with or die from the effects of stroke when, according to medical professionals, 80% of strokes are preventable. You can significantly decrease your chances of stroke with simple preventive measures. The first prevention is to know if you're having a stroke. Every second counts: A Stroke Is an Emergency!Call 911 immediately if you notice any of these signs. Lost time means greater disability:There is sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.Sudden droopiness in the mouth while trying to smile.The sudden change of vision blurred, blackened, or double-vision in one or both eyes.Sudden severe or persistent headacheSudden loss of balance or coordinationSudden trouble with speaking or understanding speech What Causes a Stroke and What Can I Do About It?Strokes happen when oxygen-rich arteries supplying the brain are constricted or obstructed, as by a blood clot. The closing or clogging of the arteries to the brain is directly related to the arteries' health, which is affected by how you eat, how much you eat, your physical activity, blood pressure, whether you smoke, and whether you have diabetes among other factors. Those are factors mainly under your control. You can't control your age, gender, race, and family history, all of which can play a part in your stroke profile. So, let's focus on the things you can change.  The Stroke Recovery Foundation offers 11 Pillars of Stroke Prevention, all easily achieved goals and routines that everyone should attend to daily. 11 Pillars of Stroke PreventionHave an annual physical exam and talk with your physician about any medical issues you may be having.Take control of your blood pressure! There are now new, more stringent guidelines to be considered.Eat less - everything you eat contains calories.Exercise and increase your day-to-day physical movement.Stop smoking stop.Lose weight every pound counts.Drink in moderation! Consider red wine.Carotid artery screening may be appropriate. See your doctor.Control your diabetes if that is an issue.Attend to atrial fibrillation should you have it.Take your prescription medications and manage your supplements. Second Strokes Can Be PreventedBecause stroke is a leading disabler among diseases, you may have already had a stroke or strokes if you're an older adult reading this. If so, you're familiar with all the above, all of which still apply to you. One of the best sources of information on strokes, The American Stroke Association (, a division of the American Heart Association, provides a checklist of eight simple items to prevent a second stroke:Monitor your blood pressure.Control your cholesterol.Keep your blood sugar down.Get active.Eat better.Lose weight if you need to.Dont smoke, period.Talk to your doctor about aspirin or other medications. (Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.) Know Your Numbers!Have all your vital signs and health numbers recorded at your doctors office, along with a complete physical and blood panel. And then monitor your numbers at home. Daily. Technology and home test kits have made it extremely easy and affordable to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, resting and active heart rate, body mass index (a ratio of weight and height), the number of calories you take in, even the number of steps or miles you walk every day. The only number you need to know for cigarettes is zero.When you know your numbers, youll feel a sense of control over your health that you havent felt before. Every day is a snapshot of your health, and this makes it easy to tell if youre moving in the right direction. Kaiser Permanente provides five essential health numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, waist size, body mass index, and blood sugar. Visit the site or ask your doctor for the proper range and how to measure them. Arthritis, Stroke and the Benefits of Senior LivingEventually, the balance of your attention will shift from your house, job, and all the business of daily life to your health and the years you'll spend as an aging adult. This article has been a relatively lengthy discussion of just two of the health factors you need to be aware of, and weve barely scratched the surface on those. Its a lot to pay attention to, along with your everyday busy life. It's easy to say, "Well, just stay healthy, and you won't have to worry about it." But it's more realistic to say that all of this works better when people with similar health goals surround you.Eating healthy, monitoring your health numbers, and staying active are all parts of any senior living residence worthy of your consideration. Experts in Senior Living, such as our Legend and Windsor Associates, are well-trained in nutrition, exercise, and socialization, with a mission to serve the whole person, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Here, you'll be in the supportive company of friends and associates. Your awareness level for your health will be top of mind, and all the help you need to reach your goals will be right at hand.

Local Services By This Author

BrightStar Care of Naples & Ft Myers

Home Health 28901 Trails Edge Blvd., Ste. 203, Bonita Springs, Florida, 34134

Local owner John Botsko has over 25 years of healthcare experience as a Hospital CEO as well as other Healthcare Executive positions. He was inspired to blend his skill sets and give back to the Ft. Myers and Naples communities by creating a company that raises the standard of in-home healthcare.BrightStar is accredited by the Joint Commission for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO. We have also earned the distinction of the Enterprise Champion for Quality Award from the Joint Commission for the last 5 years in a row. (2013-2017). No other Home Care Agency in the country has been awarded this honor from the Joint Commission.This BrightStar Care agency won the Top Customer Satisfaction Award in 2017 out of all 300 BrightStar Agencies. BrightStar is committed to providing compassionate care and peace of mind to families and facilities throughout Lee and Collier counties. BrightStar serves patients of all ages, from newborn through end of life, whether its in their home, in any place of residence, or in any facility.

BrightStar Care of Naples & Ft. Myers

Non-Medical 28901 Trails Edge Blvd., Ste. 203, Bonita Springs, Florida, 34134

Local owner John Botsko has over 25 years of healthcare experience as a Hospital CEO as well as other Healthcare Executive positions. He was inspired to blend his skill sets and give back to the Ft. Myers and Naples communities by creating a company that raises the standard of in-home healthcare.BrightStar is accredited by the Joint Commission for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO. We have also earned the distinction of the Enterprise Champion for Quality Award from the Joint Commission for the last 5 years in a row. (2013-2017). No other Home Care Agency in the country has been awarded this honor from the Joint Commission.This BrightStar Care agency won the Top Customer Satisfaction Award in 2017 out of all 300 BrightStar Agencies. BrightStar is committed to providing compassionate care and peace of mind to families and facilities throughout Lee and Collier counties. BrightStar serves patients of all ages, from newborn through end of life, whether its in their home, in any place of residence, or in any facility.