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Stroke recovery in elderly DM? Any info/advice gratefully received!

(8 Posts)
spankhurst Wed 03-Feb-16 09:14:46

DM had a stroke in early December and is still unable to move her left arm and leg more than a very little. She's still in hospital and getting very depressed about it. She's 76 and had some mobility issues before the stroke.
Does anyone have any similar experiences? I'm so scared that she won't recover any movement and have to go into a care home. Realistically, what are the chances of her recovering more movement after 2 months?

CoteDAzur Wed 03-Feb-16 09:35:06

Sorry to hear your mum had a stroke. There is a lot of help available these days for stroke survivors and it is entirely possible to recover most if not all lost function through physiotherapy, as the brain rewires itself so that healthy areas take over.

A friend who could not walk, talk, or eat on her own is now fully functional and only has a slightly different/abnormal gait. There should be hope for your mum to recover movement in her arm & leg. Good luck.

Gruach Wed 03-Feb-16 09:59:04

What can I tell you?

Honestly? Loss of left side movement is the best type of stroke to have. It's all pretty horrible but when you walk into the ward and your relative knows who you are - you may feel utterly blessed.

It's grim when you reach the point where the patient is sick of the ward and the family is sick of the relentless routine of hospital visits - but for anyone who survives this far there is every possibility of a "good" recovery. To me it seems the stroke ages the person by 20 years overnight. Then you spend the next 10 years turning back time - but they're aging naturally at the same time. If you're lucky you'll reach a point where you might be able to say "yes, this is what they would have been like now even without the stroke. But it's hard going.

I can't tell you your DM will recover her mobility - but there's plenty of professional experience in stroke recovery and you should be able to access ongoing help once she leaves hospital. Be patient.

spankhurst Wed 03-Feb-16 11:00:24

Thanks very much for your replies, it's so good to hear from others who've been through something similar.

Gruach Wed 03-Feb-16 12:11:50

I hope you have another parent and/or a sibling or two to share the terror and worry with? And yo visit her in hospital.

It's very hard. The important thing is that your DM can be happy in herself while she struggles to recover physically. Is she able to chat - or too traumatised and depressed/scared? Be prepared for some change in personality - and remember that her brain has suffered an injury! Are you able to take her out of the hospital at all - even just for a spin around the hospital grounds in a wheelchair? Do that if you can.

Someone needs to be able to make time for meetings with her consultant and the rest of the team - the more you know the less overwhelming it should become. Advocate for her; if she's getting depressed she needs a change of environment. I can't really offer any helpful advice as my relative was thankfully able to walk by the time they left hospital. But nearly a decade later they still have grab handles (technical term?) at the doorstep and where needed throughout the house. And they don't live alone.

spankhurst Wed 03-Feb-16 13:03:53

Thanks, Gruach. I have 2 DBs who are doing their bit too. I just feel so sorry for mum as she is a real home-loving, house-proud person and being in hospital this long is really getting to her.

MissMoo22 Thu 04-Feb-16 22:05:00

Just wanted to say I'm so sorry you and your Mum are going through this. We are just coming to the end of my Mum's hospital stay which has been 8 months! I would say that normally within 2 months you would have seen good progress but that doesn't mean it stops there. My mum had a broken foot (broke it during the fall while having the stroke) and was able to do NO physio on her leg for the first 3 months. This meant the doctors had very little hope of her ever recovering enough to walk again. About 5 months into her hospital stay they suggested that a nursing home might be a better option than coming home again but as she is only early 60s she was adamant that she would get well enough to come home. Now, 8 months after a stroke which paralysed her right arm and leg, caused vision loss and minimal speech and had her very confused, she is coming home soon with a great recovery in speech and brain activity and the slight use of her right leg. Her right arm is responding slowly but her hand seems to taking longer to heal and may never 'come back' at all. She needs a wheelchair and nurses for the rest of her life but we are just so thankful that she is able to have some sort of normality back again. She can take some steps but not enough to have her walking permanantly again but I think a huge factor in that is her weight (very overweight) so maybe if she was minus a few stones she would be able to weight bear a little better.

I really hope your Mum continues to progress but it is a VERY long road in some cases. Be patient and share the load (so to speak) with your other family members as it is really exhausting trying to do everything yourself.

spankhurst Fri 05-Feb-16 08:54:13

Thanks MissMoo. My mum is also overweight and partially disabled, so her recovery will be long and complicated. Glad to hear that your mum's doing well. x

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