A stroke is often a life-changing event, not just for the survivor but also for their family members. The initial weeks and months of your loved one’s stroke recovery time at home are important. With patience, understanding, and the right approach, you can assist your loved one in more fully recovering, regaining their independence and improving their health.

Ready to guide your loved one toward their optimal stroke recovery at home? Let’s start with these important tips.  

Cardiac Health Education


To effectively support your loved one who is recovering from a stroke, it is crucial to educate yourself. Understand the different types of strokes including:

  • Ischemic stroke – The most common type of stroke. A blockage causes the cutting off or limiting of blood supply to parts of the brain. 
  • Hemorrhagic stroke – Caused by bleeding in or around the brain. 
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – Caused by a temporary blockage that impacts blood flow to the brain. 
  • Brain stem stroke – Caused by a blockage in the brain stem. This impacts respiratory functioning and the heart’s ability to effectively pump blood. 
  • Cryptogenic stroke – This is a stroke with unknown causes. 

Each type has varying potential side effects, and the stages of recovery can look different for each. 

The first step in educating yourself involves understanding which type of stroke your loved one experienced. From there, discuss stroke side effects and what recovery might look like with your loved one’s medical team so that your expectations are realistic. 

Knowledge empowers you to understand your loved one’s unique situation. You can then better anticipate their needs and communicate effectively with doctors, nurses and home health professionals. This will prove valuable throughout the stroke rehabilitation process.

Offer Emotional and Mental Health Support


A stroke is often an emotionally overwhelming experience for the survivor. Feelings of frustration, sadness, anger, or fear often arise throughout stroke treatment and recovery. Left unchecked, these have the potential to more permanently impact quality of life or develop into mental health diagnoses.

To best support your loved one, use compassionate listening skills, and encourage open, honest communication. Let your loved one express their emotions without judgment or pressure and in a safe space. Ask for support from a professional counselor or medical social worker, if necessary. Offer reassurance that you are there to support them through every step of the journey.

Collaborate with Stroke Care Professionals


Stroke recovery requires a multidisciplinary approach. It involves Riverside County doctors, nurses, home health professionals, speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and professional in-home caregivers.

Develop a strong and trusted professional team who you feel comfortable collaborating with. Share your loved one’s goals and challenges with them. Gain an understanding of the treatment plan, ask for revisions as necessary, and follow all medical and general health recommendations diligently. 

Attend physical therapy sessions in Riverside County if possible, and be present during nursing visits. This is often easier for families who choose home health and physical therapy at home versus rehabilitation in a facility. Taking these steps provides you with insights on how to best assist your loved one during their exercises and routines at home.

Promote Independence with Patience


Stroke recovery is a gradual process, and your loved one may face physical and cognitive challenges. Encourage their independence by allowing them to perform tasks they feel capable of handling, even if it takes longer than before. Show patience and understanding during their efforts, offering gentle encouragement without seeming overbearing.

Physical therapy and occupational therapy in Riverside County helps your loved one to regain strength, motor skills, balance, mobility and functioning during this time. Encourage your loved one to play an active role in therapy sessions and follow the advice of their physical therapist diligently. 

Create a Safe and Supportive Home


Up to 37-percent of stroke survivors report at least one fall within six months of their hospital discharge. Falls not only pose physical risks, but they can impact recovery, reduce the ability to remain at home safely, and limit an individual’s ability to regain optimal strength, balance and mobility. 

Modifying the living space to suit your loved one’s needs significantly aids their recovery and helps to prevent falls. 

  • Create a home environment free from tripping hazards.
  • Install grab bars and ramps as necessary.
  • Organize their belongings in easily accessible locations.
  • Ensure that all areas in the home are well-lit.
  • Remove loose carpeting and repair uneven floorboards.
  • Arrange all necessary kitchen utensils so they are easily within reach. 

A supportive home environment fosters confidence, promotes independence and safe mobility, and reduces the risk of falling.

Focus on Heart Healthy Nutrition 


A healthy lifestyle is crucial for stroke recovery at home in Riverside County. This includes consuming a well balanced diet and making small improvements to eating routines and lifestyle choices. 

The primary goal of a post-stroke diet is to improve cardiovascular health. This is accomplished by reducing cholesterol, high blood pressure and unhealthy weight. Work with a nutritionist to develop a diet plan tailored to your loved one’s specific needs. Four common tips include: 

  • Reduce salt intake. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 1500 milligrams per day. 
  • Increase consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Limit packaged or processed foods. 
  • When consuming packaged foods, read nutritional labels. Understand the amount of saturated fat and sodium your loved one is consuming. Gain a clear understanding about serving size too.
  • Set realistic goals. Small changes make a significant difference over time. There is no need to overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything at once. Accept some dietary imperfections, but set a goal of helping your loved one to make better choices without over-complicating meal time. 

Stroke Recovery Exercise


A sensible and medically guided post-stroke exercise program helps your loved one to improve mood and physical functioning. It improves mobility, balance and both small and large motor skills. Exercise also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and encourages the body to remain at a healthy weight. 

Support your loved one as they engage in prescribed exercises and activities that aid in physical and mental rehabilitation. Encourage them to work with their Riverside County physical therapist and understand prescribed exercises so they can continue to do them on their own even after therapy ends. 

Physical activities might include motor skills training to improve strength and coordination, mobility exercises to improve transfers and ambulation, constraint-induced therapy to encourage affected limbs to improve functioning, and range of motion therapy to ease muscle tension. 

Stroke Related Cognitive Challenges


Up to 60-percent of stroke survivors experience cognitive difficulties within the first year post-stroke, such as memory loss or problems with decision-making. This is most common during the first two weeks after hospital discharge and sometimes mistaken for speech and language challenges. It is often underreported and underdiagnosed. Early evaluation is crucial to avoid more permanent or severe setbacks.

Implementing a care plan that includes cognitive exercises optimizes recovery and reduces the chance of more serious or permanent cognitive decline. 

In addition to consulting with healthcare professionals, following a few simple tips may help. Engage in cognitive exercises and puzzles that stimulate the brain. Count money or match cards. Even simple breathing exercises and mindfulness are proven to make a difference. 

Additionally, help your loved one develop an organized routine. Provide gentle reminders when needed.

If the cognitive decline is impacting your loved one’s ability to remain safe at home, consider accepting temporary or more long-term support from a senior care professional. 

Stroke Recovery Support Groups


Support groups are invaluable for both stroke survivors and their family caregivers in Riverside County. Connecting with others who have experienced similar challenges offers a sense of community, validation, and valuable advice. These groups also offer opportunities to learn about resources, educate yourself on how to care for a stroke survivor, and share coping strategies. 

Attend local support groups or participate in online forums to share experiences and learn from others. If you’re unsure about where to find a support group, ask your Riverside home health provider or your loved one’s doctor for a referral. 


The journey of stroke recovery is often challenging. However, with unwavering support and understanding, opportunity exists. You are in a unique position to make a significant difference in your loved one’s life.

Educate yourself about strokes, provide emotional support, collaborate with healthcare professionals, promote independence, and create a supportive environment. Also focus on nutrition and exercise, address cognitive challenges, and join support groups. This is key to empowering your loved one to reclaim their life and find hope while healing.

Remember, your presence and love are among the most potent tools for aiding their healthy and full recovery. If you need support, we’re here to help.

Salus Homecare in Riverside County offers 5-star rated and professionally recommended home health and home care services. Our goal is to support you and your loved one throughout their stroke recovery journey. Contact us today to learn more about our proven stroke recovery program and request your complimentary, no obligation consultation.