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Measuring the Severity of a Stroke

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A stroke can impact a senior’s emotional, physical, and cognitive abilities for the rest of his or her life. If your loved one has experienced a stroke, an assessment can be used to evaluate their abilities, determine the best possible treatment, and help predict future outcomes. Home Care Assistance, a premier Fort Myers stroke care provider, will share information about this assessment.

Understanding the NIH Stroke Scale

The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) is the most widely used tool for evaluating the neurological status of stroke patients, and it can help not only predict brain lesion size but also help measure stroke severity. This scale can also predict the short-term and long-term outcomes of your loved one.

This stroke scale analyzes many aspects, including the patient’s horizontal eye movements, facial palsy, arm and leg movement, language abilities, sensation, and ability to answer questions. These individual scores are used to calculate your loved one’s NIHSS score, which ranges from 0 (no stroke symptoms) to 21-42 (severe stroke). This test is an excellent predictor of outcome. Someone who has a baseline score of less than 6 has a very good chance of recovery.

Keep in mind that current stroke scales that measure impairment only partially explain the impact on the person’s disability and quality of life. Some people adapt better to the impairments of a stroke, while some people with minimal neurological impairment may be severely disabled after a stroke.

Improving Stroke Outcome

While the severity of stroke plays a big role in outcome, early rehabilitation can also help a loved one better recover following a stroke. An in-home hourly or live-in Fort Myers caregiver can also provide assistance with daily activities, encourage healthy recovery habits, and assist with personal care, medication reminders, transportation and more.

Because every stroke is different in the areas of the brain it effects and the deficits that occur, every recovery is different. Try to avoid making comparisons with another stroke survivor and have your loved one’s progress measured to determine how much rehabilitation should be provided.

Reach Out to Home Care Assistance

For more information about senior stroke recovery, call 239.449.4701 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Care Manager from Fort Myers Home Care Assistance. We are available 24/7 and are more than happy to answer questions, provide support, or simply have a conversation.