What happens when someone has stroke?

June 27, 2019

What happens when someone has stroke?

A stroke happens when a blockage such as a clot blocks the blood flow to the brain, or when a burst blood vessel bleeds into the brain. During a stroke, the cells in the affected part of the brain starts to die and that part of the brain cannot work properly. This can affect a person’s ability to walk, talk, eat, see, read, socialise or do things they were able to do before the stroke. Many people with stroke may also have fatigue or problems with remembering, understanding or thinking properly.

Different parts of the brain control a person’s movements, senses, emotions and intellectual functions. The effects of stroke depend on which part of the brain is damaged and how severe the damage is.
  • Someone disabled from stroke can have minor to severe problems.
  • Some people make a speedy recovery and return to their normal lives.
  • Others have disabilities that may improve with time and can be managed.
  • For many, disabilities may last a lifetime.
  • A small number of people will need full time medical care.

Let’s explore how the loss of function from stroke can affect someone's day to day life and look at some easy solutions on how to improve nutrition for stroke survivors.

What happens when someone has stroke?

  • Problems chewing and swallowing ( dysphagia)
  • Physically unable to self feed or drink 
  • Communication problems (Unable to verbalise that they need to eat/drink)
  • Cognition problems (memory, attention, perception) ( Do not realise that they need to eat/drink)
  • Visual problems ( Unable to see what they are eating/drinking)
  • Absence of teeth and dentures and poor mouth hygiene 
  • Depression/ anxiety 

In Singapore, deaths from stroke are increasing every year, and those affected by stroke are getting younger. Unfortunately, it’s common for families of stroke patients to lose hope after the incident and assume recovery is impossible. We tend to get caught up in our grief and lose sight of the real possibility of recovery for our loved ones.  

If your loved one is not eating and drinking well after their stroke, they are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for complications and their recovery will take much longer than expected. They are also likely to have longer hospital stays which increases their cost of their care and emotional burden. Therefore, it's important to pay attention and make positive changes to what your loved one is eating after their stroke.This approach will help them to regain their strength and energy faster, and give them a quicker recovery period, which will last through their rehabilitative treatments. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits will ultimately improve their health and reduce their risk of getting another stroke.





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