It’s important to understand that a stroke is a disease affecting the brain. A stroke occurs when the blood flowing to the brain is stopped. When this happens, brain tissue is not able to get enough blood. This results in necessary nutrients or oxygen not getting to the brain. When this happens, brain cells are damaged or die. This is what creates the symptoms that result from a stroke.
In some situations, a stroke happens because of a blockage, like a blood clot. This is known as an ischemic stroke. Approximately 80 percent of strokes are classified as ischemic.
Further Understanding Strokes
It’s also possible for a stroke to occur when a blood vessel breaks and causes bleeding in or around a person’s brain. This is known as a hemorrhagic stroke. Approximately 20 percent of strokes are classified as hemorrhagic. A hemorrhagic stroke is the result of a ruptured aneurysm in the brain. This is the ballooning of the wall of a blood vessel in the brain.
There are a number of things that could increase your chances of experiencing a stroke. They are smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, family history of stroke, high blood pressure and more.
The Value Of Palliative Care
When people are dealing with a serious illness, they may need specialized medical care. They may use something known as palliative (pronounced “pal-lee-uh-tiv”) care. This type of care is designed to provide you with relief from a number of different symptoms such as stress from a serious illness like a stroke, pain and more. This care tries to focus on improving the qualify of life for you as well as your family.
Palliative care involves a team of physicians, social workers, nurses and any other necessary specialists working with you and your other physicians. This will provide you with an extra layer of support. Palliative care can be effective no matter what your age or stage of your illness. It can also be done in conjunction with other curative treatments.
How Palliative Care Helps During Treatment
Weakness on one side of the body, as well as paralysis, are some of the most common symptoms of a stroke. When you’re dealing with the effects of a stroke you may also experience headaches, loss of balance, problems with your memory, trouble understanding or speaking, problems with your emotions as well as inappropriate behavior, visual problems and more.
It’s important to get treatment as fast as possible when a stroke first starts. Doing this can help minimize any long-term symptoms. Palliative care is valuable at any stage of an illness. It’s most effective if the palliative care team is helping sooner rather than later after a serious illness occurs.
When you want to know if your symptoms, such as visual problems, memory or speech impairment will be permanent or improve in time, your palliative care team can explain it. The palliative care team are specialists. They know how to properly utilize medications and other therapies to help you deal with things such as anger or depression. These are common emotions a person experiences after a stroke.
Should the cause of a stroke be a blockage, there are medications that can dissolve the blood clot and enable the blood to once again flow normally. There may be situations where the clot needs to be removed with surgery. Should a stroke be the result of a hemorrhage, treatment may include an operation, controlling high blood pressure to decrease brain swelling as well as taking seizure medication.
When you are dealing with the effects of a stroke, you may also experience difficulties with your muscles and movement. It’s common to have spasms that are painful. Palliative care specialists are experts when it comes to knowing how to manage the symptoms of a serious illness such as a stroke. They will be able to assist in managing these symptoms with the use of medications designed to block nerve reactions as well as other treatments that can make your life more comfortable overall.
You will want to understand the benefits as well as the side effects of any treatment you receive. Your palliative care team will be able to help. They can explain how these treatments can work with your personal goals for recovery and care. The specialists from your palliative care team know how to work with your other physicians to help you with managing pain and any other side effects from your medications.
It’s possible you could have difficulty swallowing. In this situation, you and your family must decide whether to use a feeding tube. Palliative care specialists will know how to help you with such a decision. They can explain to you and your family what can be expected. Your palliative care team can help you determine if a feeding tube is an option you’re able to live with. These specialists know how to provide information that can explain the benefits as well as the drawbacks of a situation.
When you need to talk about your expectations as well as the needs for your future at home, your palliative care team will be there to discuss it with you. They are able to explain what you can expect mentally as well as physically. They can help you create a realistic plan. If you will need home care, skilled nursing or acute rehab as well as the services of assisted living, it will be discussed by your palliative care team.
It will be explained to you by your team specialists what they are able to provide at each level of care. They will also explain what they can’t do for you. These specialists will help you with getting the support necessary for you to have the best quality of life.
Living With Stroke
There are challenges when it comes to living with a stroke. This could involve the side effects of medical treatment as well as the stress of a family caregiver and more. Palliative care specialists can help. They can act as your sounding board. They will be your first line of defense when dealing with any symptoms involving pain, anxiety, depression, discomfort and more.
Palliative care specialists are also able to help you and your loved ones with making large and small decisions. They can help improve the communication between you, your family as well as other physicians. They can assist you with clarifying your goals for care.
These are only a few of the many benefits provided by palliative care.
Getting Palliative Care
Should you or a loved one need the help of palliative care, the first step is to ask your physician for a referral or, contact Harbor Light Hospice directly to learn more about our compassionate palliative care services.
If you want more detailed information concerning stroke treatment, diagnosis, life after a stroke, risks and more, you can visit the American Stroke Association (ASA) online. Do you want to contact other individuals who have experienced a stroke as a survivor or someone who cares for a person after who has had a stroke?. You can visit the American Stroke Association’s Stroke-Specific Support Network.