The Therese Ouimette Mission shares stroke recovery awareness and support with people, families, and attorneys when creating and maintaining living legal wills.
Plan Now! In Case You Cannot Speak for Yourself Later.
A person’s ability to speak with words may have stopped, however, it is commonly reported that their thoughts, memories, and emotions remain and they may not have the energy to communicate with you during this time.
The ability to TALK.
What is commonly observed is the greatest improvements occur in the first 6 weeks. This is because areas of the brain that experienced temporary swelling begin to repair themselves. Do not expect a person to communicate with you with verbal, physical or eye language during the first few months. They may not be communicating with you in any way although they are still able to receive communication and feel love with you. Many people will start to communicate with their hands, head or eyes in weeks to come. A Speech Therapist will meet with your loved one once or twice a day, for very short amounts of time. This does not mean that they believe the person will never get better. They will slowly be helping your loved one find ways of communicating when your loved one typically has the energy to do so. They also will make attempts to get a rise out of the person, sometimes it may work, and sometimes it may not. A successful session does not guarantee the next session will be better and adversely a lacking session does not mean things are getting worse.
Additionally, Medications may significantly challenge a person’s ability to communicate during this time. Remember that the brain needs to conserve energy to rejuvenate and medications assist with the process. Most people will sleep more then they are awake.
The first 6 weeks of recovery commonly isn’t pretty.
A person may look drastically impaired after a stroke and you may believe that they will remain like this forever. It is very common for people to spend time in intensive care or in an acute care hospital unit. They may have many tubes and wires attached to them. Their hair may look very messy and the person may look like they will never be able to care for themselves and share life with you again. Commonly they will have people helping them with bath rooming needs. At these times, it is important to understand that the brain needs time and energy to recover. The brain is helping the person conserve and direct energy for what is most important at that moment.
The first 3 to 4 months after a stroke.
The most rapid recovery usually occurs during the first three to four months, and survivors continue to recover years after. The first three months are the most important for recovery and when people tend to see the most improvements. During this time, most people will enter and complete an inpatient rehabilitation program or make progress in their outpatient therapy sessions. The goal of rehabilitation is to restore your loved one’s abilities, as close as possible, to pre-stroke levels or develop compensation strategies to work around new challenges.
Can the brain heal itself after a stroke?
YES! Research indicates that in many instances, a brain can heal itself after a stroke. Time is on your side.
Will life be different after my loved one has had a stroke?
YES! Life will be different after a stroke. You will discover that the quality of their life and yours will be different. You will discover that sharing time together is beautiful. You will discover that giving, receiving, and sharing in new different ways amplifies your life positively.
What is the cost of recovery?
When in the hospital, it is important to speak with a Hospital Social Worker, they will support and guide you with available resources. They are familiar with means, that you may not know exist. For example, the MFP Program and the ABI Waiver Program. A change in abilities can result in a change in services. Medicare and/or Medicaid coverage for rehabilitation therapies may be available if your loved one’s physical function has changed. Any improvement or decline in motor skills, speech or self-care since the last time your loved one was in therapy may mean eligibility changes in services.
Numerous stroke survivors are grateful that their attorney shared valuable information with them about the importance of creating advance directives. Doing so ensured them the ability to give, receive, and share more love with the people that mean the most to them. A stroke did not mean death.
A large number of stroke survivors are grateful they had a competent attorney that helped them make educated decisions.
By preparing an advance directive, you can clarify what your wishes are concerning your care. For example, some people ask for every possible medical and therapeutic option to be implemented in a crisis. This allows their loved ones to be sure that everything possible was done to save their life. When advanced directives have not been implemented, family members may be left to question whether they personally did everything they could do to preserve life. It often leads to family members questioning and suffering from uncertainty for a lifetime.
If you suffered a stroke today and lost the ability to speak, would your spouse, children, or parents have the legal authority to take care of you? If you were incapacitated by a stroke, would your loved ones be able to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf? Keep in mind that just because you are married doesn’t necessarily give your spouse the legal right to make decisions for you. Without the proper legal documents in place, your loved ones may have to petition the court to be appointed your legal guardian.
About 795,000 people in the United States will have a stroke this year.
According to the National Stroke Association, many strokes could be prevented by practicing healthy habits such as eating right, exercising, managing cholesterol levels and diabetes, and not smoking or drinking heavily. But some strokes, including those in healthy young adults and children, are completely unpredictable.
However, there is another way. If you set up an advance directive for healthcare, you can rest assured that the person whom you trust will be in charge should you be unable to speak for yourself. According to a recent article in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, only 26 percent of people have an advanced directive for health care.
In many states, an advance directive for healthcare combines a health care proxy (a.k.a. the appointment of a health care representative) and a living will. You may also want a durable power of attorney. You can assign one or more people to assume duties for each.
A durable power of attorney gives someone legal authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. A health care proxy similarly appoints someone to make decisions on your behalf, but regarding medical treatment rather than finances. A living will set forth your wishes regarding receipt or withholding of medical treatment at end of life.
A qualified estate planning attorney can help you set up an advance directive and a durable power of attorney. These documents never expire; however, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you update them every couple of years for you and your family’s peace of mind. By reviewing these documents periodically, you can make sure that the individuals whom you have designated as your health care proxy and agent under power of attorney is are still the best choice to serve in these roles, and your family will know that your documents still reflect your most current wishes.
Ask your attorney to schedule and notify you every year to discuss your plan.
Allison T Poirier Attorney
Phone: 1 860 812-0433
Offices in Vernon & Storrs