Your dad had a stroke. You’re going to deal with a mix of emotions. There’s fear that he’ll struggle to recover. There’s anxiety that you have no idea how he’ll manage at home. There’s also the thankfulness that he survived.
You also need to get to work tailoring his home care plans once he’s released. Take these steps as soon as you can.
Look at the Home’s Layout
It’s very possible that your dad is going to need a wheelchair or walker as he relearns the skills needed to walk. If he needs a wheelchair, is his house equipped to meet his needs?
You may need to move his bedroom to the first level and make sure he’s near a bathroom. He’ll need access to meals. Home care services can help with that. If he’s living on the first floor now and the kitchen is upstairs, a caregiver can cook his meals upstairs and bring them to him.
He’s going to need grab bars to safely move in and out of the shower that’s on the first level of the home. If there isn’t a shower, that can be a big obstacle. If he does, he needs a shower seat. He needs someone there to help him wash, dry off, and get dressed. That’s another way home care is going to help.
Have a back-up plan. If he cannot safely live in his home when he needs a wheelchair, what is the plan? Will you help him downsize in a rush and move into a one-level condo or apartment that’s wheelchair-friendly? Will he live somewhere else until he recovers his ambulation skills?
Arrange Home Health Care Services
You do not want a lapse of time to pass between your dad’s arrival back home and his at-home therapy. Arrange home health care to have therapists come to his home and work with him. He is likely going to have to learn how to use a spoon and fork again. He’s going to need to work on reconnecting the pathways of the brain that had him walking and using his arms to grasp and pick things up.
He may never fully recover his former abilities. He may always need a cane or walker. He needs someone to teach him how to use them. He needs home care to help him with ambulation when he’s not working with a therapist.
Home health care services also help if he has a feeding tube. Nurses can administer his meals. If he has an IV for fluids, nurses can take care of that, too.
Sit Down With His Medical Team
Ask to meet with his medical team. He’ll have his neurologist, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. You may also have a social worker working with you. If the plan is to move him back home for the rest of his recovery, you need to get home health care services in place. They’ll have a detailed list of what he’s going to need for nursing care and home care.