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How to Care for a Parent After a Stroke

When an elderly parent is recovering from a stroke, there is perhaps no more helpful advice for family caregivers than “Expect the unexpected.”

“Every stroke is different,” says David Siegelman, Director of Rehabilitation at The Hebrew Home in Riverdale by RiverSpring Health in the New York City area. “People can experience vastly different effects based on such factors as the type, location and severity of the stroke.”

Stroke After-Effects

Among the most common after-effects of a stroke are hemiplegia or hemiparesis, which is paralysis or weakness of one side of the body.

“This is what people most often associate with a stroke,” Siegelman says, “but depending upon its location, a stroke also may affect balance, vision or communication. The inability to communicate is often a major issue that people experience immediately after a stroke. They may lose their ability to speak or they’ll use words that don’t make sense. They may develop swallowing difficulties, also called dysphagia.”

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