A nurse helps a senior woman drink coffee

Is Assisted Living an Option After a Stroke?

Stroke symptoms can strike suddenly, and damage to the brain can happen within minutes. Yet recovery from a stroke can be a lengthy process that requires hard work, perseverance and commitment. It also requires patience, because it may take months or years for a stroke survivor to recover.

An assisted living facility for stroke patients could be the most appropriate setting for a family member who’s a stroke survivor. Assisted living offers stroke patients a more independent living setting in a safe environment with rehabilitative care, all with the goal of improving the stroke survivor’s overall quality of life and returning them to their pre-stroke lives as much as possible. 

These assisted living facilities also provide family members with great reassurance and peace of mind. Family members know their loved one is being cared for by healthcare professionals in a setting specifically designed for the unique needs of older adults who may need assistance with personal care and activities of daily living. Quite often it’s those activities of daily living, or ADLs, that stroke patients struggle most to recover the ability to perform. This is why assisted living after a stroke may be the best solution.

What ADLs are and why they matter after a stroke

The activities of daily living are the basics of personal care. They allow us to take care of our bodies and enable basic survival and well-being.

The six main ADLs are:

  • Eating 
  • Transferring 
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

After a stroke, the survivor may not be able to hold a fork well enough to feed themselves, can’t brush their teeth, or rise out of a chair and walk to the bathroom. The goal of rehabilitation is to help the individual relearn the ADLs they may have lost the ability to perform and regain their independence. 

Occupational therapy can help people relearn how to perform these ADLs so they can more successfully transition back to everyday life.

Physical therapy can improve mobility by strengthening muscles, balance, and bringing back or improving range of motion.

Speech therapy can help patients regain their ability to communicate, a condition known as aphasia. It’s estimated that losing the ability to speak or understand speech affects 40% of stroke patients to some degree.

When assisted living for stroke patients makes sense

After the stroke occurs, caregivers, spouses, adult children and even the survivor will have many questions and important decisions to make:

  • What does stroke recovery and the rehabilitation process look like?
  • What types of rehabilitation will be needed?
  • How do you choose the right rehabilitative environment?
  • Will physical, occupational or speech therapy be needed?
  • How much medical care and support will be required? 
  • What healthcare professionals will be part of the stroke recovery team to provide that care?

Choosing assisted living facilities after a stroke may be the ideal option. The resources and staff available at a long-term care facility like assisted living are perfectly suited to provide rehabilitative care in a safe setting that feels welcoming and comfortable. An assisted living facility:

  • Provides a homelike living environment that allows residents to maintain a modicum of independence.
  • Offers services such as housekeeping; laundry; three meals a day; medication assistance and administration; and access to physical, occupational and speech therapies
  • Has licensed healthcare professionals on staff who understand how to care for stroke survivors.
  • May be part of a community that offers higher levels of care, such as skilled nursing, in case more advanced long-term care is needed.

Some assisted living communities also provide transportation to doctors’ appointments, though there may be an additional cost for this service. The Arbors at Ventana by Buckner provides complimentary transportation, along with a number of other meaningful services and amenities. 

Complimentary transportation may seem like a minor service, but difficulty with transportation is just one example of the ripple effects after a stroke: A stroke survivor who can suddenly no longer drive would be unable to get to their appointments. Family members would need to take off work or arrange for child care to help out. If the patient can’t find transportation, they may have to cancel appointments and miss crucial therapy visits or important follow-up visits with their healthcare professional, putting their health and their progress at risk.

So when it comes to stroke recovery, even the little conveniences found at an assisted living facility can make an appreciable difference. 

Assisted living for stroke patients at The Arbors

The Arbors at Ventana offers residents individualized, 24-hour assisted living services with daily living activities; physical, occupational and speech therapy services; and a personalized wellness program to maintain a high level of physical and mental health. Residents are cared for by licensed practical nurses and can tap into the expertise of a medical director. An on-staff registered dietitian is available to develop nutritious menus specifically for stroke patients and is well versed on foods that are imperative for brain health.

For stroke survivors who may need an even greater level of care and attention, Ventana’s rehabilitation center, Ascend Rehabilitation, offers rehabilitation with short-term and long-term options

If someone you care about has had a stroke, and you’re looking for the right setting for your family member, we invite you to schedule a visit to Ventana, apply for an assisted living residence of your choice, or simply have your questions answered by an understanding and knowledgeable sales counselor. 

Start the conversation by contacting us. We can help the one you love get started on their road to recovery.