In the days right after a stroke, a senior’s capabilities tend to be drastically decreased. This is understandably concerning, so it’s very common for seniors and their families to have questions about the brain’s ability to heal. While scientists still don’t know everything about brain function and recovery, research is showing the brain may be stronger than they previously thought. Here’s what you need to know about the brain’s chances of healing following a stroke.
Some Healing Is Due to Decreased Swelling
Right after a stroke, there tends to be a lot of swelling in the brain. As the brain starts to heal, swelling goes down, allowing better circulation. As circulation increases, slightly damaged cells heal and toxins and waste products are taken out of the brain. This part of stroke recovery tends to result in rapid enhancements to cognition and functioning, which isn’t technically due to the brain healing itself. Instead, it’s just the brain beginning to operate without detrimental swelling again.
When it comes to stroke recovery, family caregivers might need extra help with their caregiving duties. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elderly home care, Arvada Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
The Brain Uses Axonal Sprouting as a Recovery Mechanism
The main issue in a brain following a stroke is that it no longer has the same amount of brain cells. However, the brain is very flexible at working with what it has. Following a stroke, brain cells go through a process called axonal sprouting, which involves neurons sending out new connections throughout the brain. This process connects neurons isolated by the stroke with the rest of the brain so they can better perform their connections. Sprouting doesn’t result in a full recovery, but it does allow the brain to better utilize the nerve cells it has left.
Some Nerve Cell Growth May Be Possible
Some people think the brain cannot heal due to the misconception that a person only has the brain cells he or she is born with. Though past generations of neuroscientists thought neurons couldn’t be grown at all, new research is showing the body can create new nerve cells. This process of creating new neural cells, called neurogenesis, is slow and gradual, so seniors shouldn’t expect sudden enhancements.
Receiving tailored care and support every day can help seniors speed up their recovery. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Arvada, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.
Rehabilitation Is Essential to Recovery
It’s possible for the brain to take some steps to heal on its own following a stroke. However, the brain tends to do a better job of recovery when seniors go through stroke rehabilitation. Regularly practicing daily tasks and cognitive skills strengthens various connections throughout the brain and teaches different parts of the brain to manage tasks formerly handled by the areas destroyed by the stroke.
Older adults need regular help to manage household tasks and enhance cognitive abilities after a stroke. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Arvada, Colorado, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To schedule a free in-home consultation today, call us at (720) 642-1600.