Disability after a stroke is the most common cause by adult people. There may be temporary restrictions - for example, aphasia that gradually subsides. However, a stroke can often have extreme effects.
Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that can occur after brain damage, e.g. after a stroke or traumatic brain injury or in the case of a brain tumor. This affects speaking and language understanding, but also reading, writing, gestures and facial expressions. Various therapies and the right way of dealing with those affected can reduce the disturbances.
A stroke can send someone out of life into a coma-like state. After that, nothing is like it was before. Paralysis of the right or left half of the body can occur, which will improve with early and correct therapy, but often persist forever. Stroke patients are often largely dependent on a wheelchair or walking aids as well as on accompanying persons.
Due to paralysis with loss of left or right visual field, the affected person can no longer drive a car or cycle. House, garden and repair work are a thing of the past. It suddenly becomes very difficult to take part in a discussion or to concentrate for a long period of time. Often those affected have to give up their professional existence.
The dexterity of the arms, hands and legs suffers from the existing paralysis. This leads to the fact that the patients can no longer walk independently or can no longer dress independently. Holding the morning coffee cup becomes an insurmountable problem.
The limitations after a stroke are as varied as the functions the brain fulfills. Common examples are numbness, language disorders, and visual field restrictions. But a stroke cannot only be physical. A stroke is often accompanied by personality changes such as indifference, resignation, depression (forced crying or sudden outbursts of anger).
Many of these effects are temporary and regress after a few weeks or months at the latest. However, some failures can last for years or even be permanent, depending on how severely the brain was damaged. The decisive factor is which region of the brain has been damaged by the stroke. Very small disruptions can cause major restrictions if they affect a strategically important area. But major disturbances can also go unnoticed if they are located in less eloquent brain regions.
The brain is flexible
Whether and when the restrictions decrease is due to the so-called plasticity of the brain. This refers to mechanisms by which the tasks in the brain are redistributed and other brain areas take on new determinations, i.e. learn new obligations. Although the plasticity is greater in younger people, it is still present in old age.
What can people do after a stroke to regain lost skills or to reduce the effects?
First and foremost, rapid emergency care, ideally on a specialized stroke ward, is crucial. The earlier the treatment starts, the less the long-term effects are. Extensive rehabilitation measures should definitely and immediately be initiated in the stroke department. This is followed by rehabilitation with physiotherapy over several weeks or months.
What RENT MY NURSE can do for you
After the acute treatment of a stroke, medical rehabilitation measures are required in most cases so that the physical and mental limitations that are the result of the stroke can be partially or completely regressed. Since the consequences of a stroke are very different, the rehabilitation measures must also be individually adapted.
Phases of neurological rehabilitation
Acute treatment - intensive medical neurological treatment
Early rehabilitation takes place as soon as possible after the acute treatment. Neurological early rehabilitation measures in phase B are suitable for patients with the most severe neurological symptoms who are predominantly bedridden. The aim here is in particular to establish contact with the environment and to promote fundamental sensory and motor functions.
Further rehabilitation - stabilization phase
In the neurological early rehabilitation phase C, patients with neurological symptoms who can at least sit and no longer require intensive medical supervision are treated. The aim here is, in particular, independence in the basic activities of daily life (e.g. personal hygiene, getting dressed, eating).
The neurological rehabilitation of phase D (follow-up rehabilitation / follow-up treatment) is intended for patients who, at least when using aids, have already become independent again in the activities of daily life. The aim here is to achieve everyday skills to such an extent that a largely independent life is possible.
Activating treatment care - long-term and permanent (social rehabilitation, occupational rehabilitation)
From phase B, RMN is able to support and accompany you during the rehabilitation.
In our next blog we will go into detail about the individual phases and show how we can support you.