When given the option, most people would rather have the comforts of home during the rehabilitative phase after a stroke. If you or a loved one must decide which option is best, in addition to comfort, there are other benefits of recovering at home.
Warding Off Depression
Depression is a common consequence of having a stroke, especially if you experience significant physical or cognitive changes. The occurrence of depression can be the result of physiological or biochemical changes from brain damage, but also adapting to any limitations you may experience. Finding ways to keep depression at bay or effectively treating depression can significantly improve your outcome.
Limiting the amount of in-patient treatment and care you receive can prevent or minimize depression, especially if you have a strong support system at home. Admission into a rehabilitation center can leave some people with the sense they may never return home, which can exacerbate physical or cognitive decline.
Being in a familiar environment creates a world of unique challenges. Tasks that were once simple, such as sitting in a favorite chair or enjoying a hobby, may be difficult if you have experienced paralysis. The challenge of getting back to normal can motivate you to actively participate in physical, speech or occupational therapy. Since reminders of your goals are around you, this can offer encouragement.
When possible, not having the 24-hour confines of a rehabilitation center can help prevent learned helplessness. It is much easier to feel helpless when you feel like you cannot accomplish any tasks without help, and some people fall into a behavioral pattern of acting more helpless. Most adults prefer the additional challenges that come with recovering in their home, because too much assistance can feel offensive and make them feel like they are treated like a child.
Improved Psychosocial Support
If you have close friends and family, the protocols of rehabilitation centers often limit the amount of time visitors can spend with you and which hours you can have visitors. Not everyone can visit during these hours, due to schedule conflicts, and this can limit the number of people who are able to be an active part of your support system during in-patient recovery. By recovering at home, there are no limits to when people can visit, or even stay overnight.
Many people have pets that are part of their family. Pets are rarely, if ever, allowed in some facilities, which can be heartbreaking for some people. At home, you can continue to curl up with your pet and reap many of the benefits of pet ownership. Cuddling with your pet can lower blood pressure and help ease anxiety or depression. Actively interacting with your pet is another way to encourage use of a limb that is paralyzed or has limited movement. You may want to try throwing a ball for your dog to catch or attempt to pet your cat.
The familiarity of home and returning to a routine can be helpful if you have experienced cognitive effects from a stroke. Depending on the extent of damage, behaviors you are accustomed to, such as watching the news or reading the newspaper, can be therapeutic. Even if you can have someone read the paper aloud to you, this can bring some sense of normalcy back to your life.
Sitting outside on your porch or going to a nearby park is another method of increasing mental sharpness and helping your brain recover from injury. The opportunity to experience various sights and sounds are all forms of mental stimulation. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of some in-patient care facilities can be mundane and may not provide adequate mental stimulation beyond scheduled therapies.
Recovery after a stroke is a difficult process, but with current therapeutic approaches, there is hope to regain some lost functions. Although every situation is unique, there are various benefits of choosing to recover at home with the support of in-home care services. For more information, contact a local company that offers at home healthcare.
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