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Hi,

My father (80 years old) had a massive ischemic stroke (left side) 3 weeks ago today; which caused him to be paralyzed on his right side, some cognitive issues, and unable to fully communicate.  We have since found out that he has AFIB, which is the culprit.   I have been researching stroke recovery in elderly patients and I am keeping an open mind that a full recovery is possible.  Since his stroke, he has been able to start moving his right arm (during therapy), can push his right leg down (when we lift it up), asks us to do leg exercises with him, can stand for 45 seconds at the parallel bars and bare his weight on both legs,  and even asked to stand (outside of therapy)!  These are all improvements that I cherish and am encouraged more will come.

 

Unfortunately, I have two older sisters who are not as optimistic about his recovery and sadly do not see him regaining the use of his right side or communication.  Would any of you have stories that include an elderly person having a massive stroke and recovering?  I understand that the recovery will be longer due to his age, I do not want to give up on him and would like to provide some "evidence" that he can recover more than what they are thinking.

 

Any stories and/or advice is welcomed!  I thank you in advance for your support, it is greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Deb

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First, Deb I want to say it's nice to meet you. I feel very confident that you have come to a great site for information, answers, sharing, and celebrating. I myself had a massive bilateral cerebellar stroke; although I am only 45. Time and work has been the best thing for my recovery. Learning to listen to my mental and physical needs. Support from my family and the wonderful support I have gotten here. Other survivors and I have this way of understanding each other in a way that is hard for those who haven't experienced a stroke. I'm so glad they found a reason for your father's stroke...this is a huge known! Doctors will be really able to help another stroke from happening. Time and work. I can't say those two things enough. Also watch for your father's mood and energy. Depression is very common after a stroke and can get in the way of recovery. With today's medicines one doesn't need to suffer needlessly. Your support will mean so much. You also need to be good to yourself and listen to your own needs. It's unfortunate that your older sisters have remained less optimistic than you. I hope that your father still will have the support of all of you. Best wishes and there should be more answers to follow.

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 Welcome Deb. I believe your father is fortunate to have a ray of sunshine, as yourself, with him during his recovery .  Recovery is a slow journey so don't get discouraged if you don't see major recoveries happening .  They are and he is so keep the positive optimism going and try to assure your sisters that recovery is slow. He has to relearn to do basic tasks so just know he is doing the best he can do and he isn't happy with the recovery also. Keep the love   

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Deb, Age is certainly a factor in stroke recovery, but it isn't the only factor. Perhaps the kind of stroke, and where in the brain it occurred is even more important than age.I was only 50 1/2 yrs old when I had a massive brainstem stroke. The docs told my hubby that where I had my stroke ( brainstem), and the kind of stroke that I had (massive hemorrhagic) made it likely that I wouldn't survive more than 48 hrs. And, if I were among the 2% who do survive, I'd be a "vegetable" ( their terminology, not mine- I hate this word). Well,obviously, both predictions failed, as here I am, 10 yrs. later, typing this post to you. But, listen, Deb, that doesn't mean that he'll have a full recovery, because each stroke and each recovery is different. What you can take joy from is that his recovery to date has been excellent, and there's absolutely no reason not to expect him to recover more. As time goes on, his recovery may slow down, but that doesn't mean that it's gone away permanently. It's just slowed down. The best thing that ya'll can do for your Dad rt now is to remain encouraging and optimistic. Stroke recovery is hard work, and he needs hope and encouragement  to continue this journey.   Becky 

 

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Deb the main thing he has going for him is his will to work on recovery.  So long as he is willing and able to put in the effort he will see improvement. It may be little and slow at times but the key is to keep him working at it.  So far he's getting good quick results and that does make it easier to keep going.  If your sisters start to tell him he's wasting his time that could easily become his reality.  So make sure those around him are not telling him he can't unless of course he's a stubborn bugger like me, where if you tell me "you can't", I'll say "stuff you".

 

Keep an eye on his moods and frustration level but remember, the more he does for himself the more he'll be able to do so this needs some "tough love" tactics.  It may help if you explain this to him too, so he knows that really you care and you want the best for him, but it's also an individual thing.  Every stroke and every recovery is different, there is no one way to do this.

 

The big one to remember is to always ask "do you WANT help with that?" before you do anything for him, there's a huge mental difference between "want" and "need" that you as a carer need to internalise. One of the hardest parts of stroke is the way it takes away your independence. If many people suddenly start treating you like a child you just want to scream at them.

 

He's been an Adult for a long time so understand and be prepared for his current limitations but don;t let him lose his sense of self worth if at all possible.

All the best on this new journey with him

-Heather

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Hi Deb,

 

I want to add my welcome.  I agree with everyone; you and your dad being optimistic is very important, and as already said, it will become even more important if his recovery slows down or he becomes depressed.  

 

You've received some great information that you can share with your sisters, and I can only supplement that a small amount.  I was 34 when I had a severe hemorrhagic stroke in L side of brain, which caused an ischemic stroke in R side.  When I reached my first anniversary post-strokes, I had not made much progress.  I was told that I had reached my plateau, that recovery not achieved within the first year could not be expected to occur.  So wrong!  During the second year I started to make some progress, and it was the third year that progress was much more apparent.  

 

Keep your open mind about your father's ability.  He's blessed to have you!  :happy:

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