Once stabilized and on the mend, senior stroke survivors are released from the hospital with recommended medications and therapy instructions. Follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor progress. While stroke survivors are recovering, a number of home remedies can boost the recovery process and aid in subsequent stroke prevention.
Despite the internal trauma caused by a stroke, the brain has the ability to generate new neurons and connections to resume communication between the cells. This process is known as neuroplasticity. Certain foods contain a protein referred to as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which boosts neuroplasticity. These BDNF-rich foods also include other important nutrients:
• Avocados contain oleic acid, which the brain’s gray matter needs to aid in neural communication and information processing. The fruits are also rich in antioxidants, which protect neurons from free radical damage and promote cognitive function.
• Black and green teas contain flavonoids that protect neurons and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Nutritionists recommend drinking a minimum of three cups per day.
• Beans are a rich source of magnesium, which has been shown to provide neuron protection.
• Blueberries contain antioxidants called flavonoids that protect the brain.
• Flaxseeds are an abundant source of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which protects and promotes brain health.
• Salmon and other fatty fish provide omega-3 fatty acids to aid in neuron protection and function.
• Tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene that has neuroprotective properties and reduces the cellular damage caused by obstructive strokes.
If you need help planning and preparing meals designed to boost your loved one’s stroke recovery, a professional caregiver can be a terrific resource. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Physical exercise remains one of the leading recommended interventions for stroke recovery. Initially, exercising an affected limb may require the assistance of a therapist or a loved one. However, in time and after repetition of the exercises, the brain rewires the connections required to perform the movement unassisted. At some point, stroke survivors commonly reach a plateau and feel they can no longer progress. But statistics indicate persisting encourages neuroplasticity, and recovery may continue for months or years after the event.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Tucson Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Massage enhances blood flow, which provides much-needed nutrients to connective tissues, muscles, and joints as seniors work to regain strength and mobility. Routine massage has also been shown to reduce discomfort. A treatment called external counterpulsation, or ECP, provides a massage-like sensation using a cuff that alternates between inflating and deflating on the affected site. Researchers from the S.H. Ho Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Center in Hong Kong found that after 35 treatments, individuals demonstrated enhanced cardiovascular function by 75 percent and blood flow to the brain by nine percent.
The ancient art of tai chi was once used to train and strengthen Chinese warriors. Today, the practice is known to increase balance, flexibility, and strength while reducing negative thought processes. The activity involves focused breathing and slow, graceful body movements to form various positions. Individuals who perform tai chi resemble ballet dancers in slow motion. The gentle, low-impact activity is often recommended for stroke survivors.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Tucson, AZ, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.