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    5 Steps to Creating a Better Care Plan for Your Client After a Stroke

    Nursing care plans were developed for a reason because they work. In fact, any time you have a goal, it requires you have a plan to get there. Taking care of a client who’s had a stroke is no different. The physical and emotional impact of a stroke can be devastating to the client and their family. It takes compassion to help your loved one recover and adapt to their new living situation. Insurance no longer covers complete rehabilitation before coming home. This means when a client returns home after having had a stroke, their home environment will impact their recovery. By creating a strong plan to help the client and family through the coming weeks and months, you will positively impact the patient's recovery. Here are five steps you can take that will have a significant impact on your client’s future.

    Ask Questions 

    Not every client who comes home after a stroke will have the same disabilities or abilities. Talk with the care manager at the hospital where your client received care. Ask questions of their physical therapist and occupational therapist to get a full understanding of their physical abilities and deficiencies so you can use this information to prioritize your care and develop a strong plan together with the client's family. Included in this information should be the client’s need for further rehabilitation and where they might receive that.

    Home Adaptations 

    Talk with the family about adaptations that might be necessary for the client's home to make the environment safe and secure for them. Prior to the stroke, your client may have been fully independent, so this process may be challenging for the family. Having a stroke increases the risk of falling, so modifications may be necessary, including the addition of grab bars or removal of household items that may be in the way during ambulation. Your client may need a ramp to get into the house or may need to have the bed and toilet elevated to be able to get up and down. Each of these factors can be discussed with the client’s physical therapist and family.

    Set Goals 

    As you're developing your plan of care for your clients, it's important to discuss their physical and speech therapy goals with the therapist and the family. Take into consideration the activity level of your client before the stroke and their goals for returning to activities after rehabilitation. Although you don't want the plan to be so ambitious it discourages the client, you also don't want the goals to be so easy the individual does not reach maximum benefits.

    Understand the Deficits 

    During early stroke recovery, they may suffer not only physical disability but also sleep deprivation and the impact of additional chronic illnesses. In the early days, clients tend to overexert themselves, trying to resume their normal activities. This can lead to extreme fatigue and an apparent worsening of their physical disability. However, these changes improve as the client gets better sleep and the energy demands on the brain and body are normalized. You can help minimize and manage complications at home by tailoring your plan of care to your individual client with a focus on prevention. This should include nutrition, hydration, and dietary needs, getting adequate sleep and appropriate exercise.

    Get the Client Involved 

    As much as possible, involve your client in your plan of care. This may be challenging if your client has suffered cognitive deficits, but it will improve rehabilitation and grow trust between yourself and your client. Families also appreciate when their loved one is included in the plan of care.

    Learn How You Can Better Help Your Clients Today!

    Our goal at Harmony is to create an environment for our staff to be successful with their clients. We are available to answer questions and help you develop a personalized plan of care for your clients that increases their rate of success. Contact us today and find out how it feels to work with supportive staff.

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