Making a Daily Plan of Care for Stroke Survivors
For a caregiver, anything that can be done to provide structure and organization on a daily basis can relieve an extraordinary amount of stress.
Making a daily plan of care will not only help the caregiver get organized, but it will provide a plan of action when others want to step in and contribute their services. Having a structured routine may also help facilitate rehabilitation, making it easier to monitor a stroke survivor’s progress in relation to everyday activities.
Allocate Approximately Three Hours to Rehabilitation
Everyone involved should be striving to return to a life that is as productive as possible. For a survivor, this means working to regain strength and the highest degree of function, independence and freedom as possible. It is recommended to dedicate at least three hours a day to rehabilitation. This can be occupational, physical or any otherwise therapeutic activity.
Make Nice with Nap Time
For individuals who have not suffered from a stroke, it is difficult to understand the level of fatigue that many survivors experience. Because many survivors are neurologically unable to obtain truly deep sleep, they are often left with the symptoms of sleep deprivation.
It is important for caregivers to incorporate plenty of time for naps and resting into the daily plan of care. Remember that a stroke survivor’s brain is working overtime to process all of the sensory stimulation in the environment. Reducing light and noise is extremely beneficial.
Give Meals and Medications a Daily Schedule
Particularly in the early stages of recovery, there can be a massive amount of medications that all must be taken at exactly the right intervals, in coordination with the right meals and other medications. Without a set daily schedule, it can be too much to handle, and it becomes easy to make mistakes.
- Coordinate exactly when each medication will be given and in what amount.
- Establish which medicines need to be taken with or without meals.
- Write meals and snacks on the agenda. It may seem obvious, but it will help you orient the other tasks of the day.
- Establish when vital signs need to be taken.
Having a daily plan of care with this level of precision will make it easier for others to contribute. When you need a day off, you wont need to worry about your loved one’s medications or meals.
By: Carol M. Maloney, Stroke survivor, former teacher, and adolescent literacy specialist.
"Making a daily plan of care will not only help the caregiver get organized, but it will provide a plan of action when others want to step in."
Perks For the Well-Planned Caregiver
Being able to anticipate when things will occur throughout the day, means that you can also anticipate when thing won’t be occurring. Knowing that you have free time in the afternoon means you can schedule some activities just for yourself. Coordinate your schedule of helpers to give yourself chances to get out in the community.