FAST is important to memorize during National Stroke Awareness Month. It’s the way to identify and react to a possible stroke. It stands for:
- Take Action
If your dad’s speech becomes slurred for no apparent reason, his arm won’t stay up, and one side of his face droops, he could be having a stroke. The faster he’s treated at the hospital, the better it is in terms of his outcome.
When your dad has a stroke, there’s a medication he’ll be given to break up blood clots. To give him that medication, a specialist needs to make sure it’s the most common type of stroke (ischemic) and not a broken blood vessel (hemorrhagic) that’s creating blood to pool within his brain.
You’re at the hospital and your dad’s medical team confirms he had an ischemic stroke. He’s been given medication to break up the clot. But, he’s going to need weeks of therapy, and there is a chance he’ll never fully recover.
What Happens Next?
It’s time to gather the family to discuss the next steps. Your dad is going to need a support team to help him around the home, with driving to stores and medical offices, and meals. He’s also going to need a lot of help with personal care at home.
Arrange personal care at home as soon as you’ve talked to his doctors. He may be going into a rehabilitation community for a few weeks or therapists can travel to his home. Your dad’s care needs will expand far beyond home health care.
Personal care at home is essential as your dad may not be able to shower or use a toilet on his own. He may require a walker or wheelchair for weeks, months, or the rest of his life. He’ll need someone to feed him while he regains use of his arm.
Your dad will need personal care at home services to ensure his fingernails and toenails are trimmed. He needs someone to brush and floss his teeth. With personal care at home, his needs are covered, and you’re able to continue working and spending quality time with him when you’re available.
How Do You Arrange Care?
Talk to your dad’s doctor about his care needs. Discuss his needs with family members and close family friends. Is anyone available to help out during the week? It’s likely that work schedules make that difficult.
Once you have an idea of how much of a recovery is expected, call a home care specialist. Go over the things your dad can and cannot do when it comes to personal care, grooming, and hygiene. The specialist will walk you through everything and help you understand how it works.
You’ll discuss services and pricing. Figure out how often caregivers need to stop by. Once you have a schedule planned out, arrange personal care at home services before ending the call.