Strokes in older people

My mum suffered a hemorrhagic stroke on Tuesday morning and is currently in the dedicated stroke unit at her local hospital. For an 81 year old, Mum was extremely active and independent prior to her stroke, not wanting help from anyone, including her husband of 57 years. On her first day in hospital, she came across as really frightened and disorientated, which is probably no surprise. This has continued today, but has showed signs of knowing family, particularly my dad, who’s hand she wanted to keep holding. She so wants to communicate, but her speech is so slurred it is difficult to understand her sometimes, but there was such a heartwarming moment when she uttered to my dad that she loved him. Later on, she gave me a right telling off for me wanting to help her with holding her water beaker, wanting to do it on her own. Despite all these little heartwarming moments, to see her so ill and the thought she may not survive is truly heartbreaking. We are just hoping with all our might that the strong mindedness she has had throughout her life will help her through this.

So sorry about Mum.
As she is fit and active and independent than she will hopefully pull through. Yes many elderly die when a stroke gets them, but then the same elderly would probably succumb to pneumonia or flu.
Stroke is not the age thing that many assume. Strokes happen to all age groups.

Mum will not be the same person as before stroke. We all change, maybe for some the change is slight. Plenty the change is for the better, but it is impossible to be the same.
Expect endless sleeping for the next few weeks. That's the brain rewiring. And have faith that if Mum is destined to survive then she will.
I found it very hard to cope with visitors chatter. I was far too busy trying to get words in and out of my head. But we are all different

Best wishes
Colin

Hi Pam, Colin has given you wise advice. Mum is in the very earliest stage a survivor goes through. We survivors probably all had shock, fear and disorientation in the immediate aftermath of our strokes. I can remember the stroke, but not the trip to hospital, my scan or going to the stroke ward. I could speak in a slurred voice, but had no left side movement. From a stroke ward, it is usual to go to a rehab ward, where the hard work begins. Mum will need all her feistiness to make progress, so encourage her all you can. As Colin says, she will be very tired for a long time.

I am 19 months on and can walk with a stick, bake, cook and go away for short breaks. Rehab, however, varies from person to person. A stroke is not a death sentence but, as Colin points out, we all get older and more vulnerable. Tell her our stories and look after yourself too!

Colin/John

Thank you for taking the time to share your stories and advice with mr, which I will share with both my mum and my family. It is heartening to know that this is not a death sentence and her strong will may help pull her through. However, it is difficult to accept that she will not be the same should she pull through, but I know that we will need to accept this and give her all our love and support on her journey through recovery. She is still quite agitated, wanting to get out of bed and has struck out at the nurses at points over the past 24hours. On the plus side, she was really calm this morning and had eaten porridge and drank thickened tea, and is also continuing to hold her beaker and drink her thickened water). She doesn’t seem to be sleeping much though, which I do find quite worrying, but hope that this will change over coming days.

Hi Pam,
My Mum of age 77 suffered an Intracerebral Hemmhoragic stroke 4 weeks and 3 days ago. First 3 days was not making much sense although knew who we were she seemed distant and not herself. This improved but she was complaining about people and giving out to therapists which is so not her. She was kept in hospital for 12 days and has improved immensely since she got home. There are some things she is trying to say and can't think of words but speech therapist says this will improve over time but will never come back fully. She is in much better form now and has great conversations with me and talks around the word she forgets or will try to get me to figure it out. So much back to her usual lovely self. When it happened I had sleepless nights thinking hospital would phone to say it reoccurred or that she took a turn for the worse but thankfully she has gotten through this and even came to her sister's 80th birthday meal last Sunday and talked to everyone without feeling too self-conscious. Your Mum's stroke sounds similar so there is great hope for her and I feel for you and how you feel as it is still very fresh in my mind.
Keep strong for Mum.
Sharon

Hi Sharon. Thanks so much for sharing your story and I am so pleased that your Mum is recovering. I saw my mum today - I had not seen her for 2 days - and could not believe the progress she has made in that time. She is getting feeling back in her right side and showed me the exercises she has to practice with her right arm. Her speech is still very slurred, but there was one sentence I had no problem in understanding, which was that she was getting so frustrated that no one could understand her. At that point, I reassured her that she was making such good progress and that her speech would get better with time. She looked so pleased! We even had quite a laugh tonight, too. She has a long way to go, but I feel she is on the right road xx

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