After a stroke, your family member’s brain and body may never function the same way again. Eventually, the changes she’s experiencing may be so severe that it is time to consider hospice care as another care option for her. Here are some indications that your family member may need the specialized care that hospice professionals can offer to her.
She’s in a Coma or Vegetative State
Some people who have a stroke end up in either a coma or a vegetative state that doesn’t change at all. Your family member is still alive but is unresponsive and unable to get back to a normal living situation. This can be a frustrating situation for you to witness as someone who loves her and it can also be difficult to know how to care for her. Hospice care providers can help.
She’s Having More Trouble Breathing
Trouble breathing may mean that your family member needs a lot of assistance with changing positions. It can also mean using breathing equipment that is difficult for someone without medical training to feel comfortable using. Knowing that your family member has help to ensure that she’s safely using that equipment allows you to focus on other aspects of her care.
Or She’s Having Trouble Swallowing
Another big issue that is common for stroke patients involves trouble swallowing. This is called dysphagia, and it can mean that your family member is not able to ingest food or drink easily on her own. She may be at a greater risk of developing aspiration pneumonia, which occurs when someone breathes in food or beverages and an infection sets in. Solving the problems that arise from dysphagia is so much easier with experienced help from hospice care providers.
She’s Experiencing Sudden Weight Loss
As your family member remains immobile, she is likely to lose a lot of muscle tone which can lead to overall weight loss. But she can also experience eating difficulties, including both loss of appetite and dysphagia, which can contribute to weight loss as well. There may be a lot that is shutting down for your family member, which means that having hospice care providers there with her can help you to feel as if she’s getting the help that she needs most.
Or Her Health Has Declined Significantly
Experiencing a stroke on top of other health issues is likely to cause your elderly family member’s quality of life to decrease. As her health continues to worsen, that can further cause complications for her. Having help from hospice care professionals ensures that you’re able to keep up with all of your family member’s needs as they arise. If her health continues to decline, hospice professionals work with your family member’s medical team to determine the next best steps.
Hospice can do so much to help your family member remain safe and comfortable after a stroke. Knowing that your aging family member is in good hands can help you to enjoy spending as much time as possible with her.
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