Stroke

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
My 84 year old Mum suffered a stroke two weeks ago. When I arrived at A&E I was told by the doctor that she probably wouldn't live longer than 24 hours as the bleed on her brain was so bad. Here I am 2 weeks later and she is still with us although she's being fed through a tube and she is bedridden.
Long term, the doctors can't predict how she will be but I doubt she'll ever be able to return home.

She can communicate with me but her speech is impaired and is difficult to understand at times. She's also quite confused and doesn't remember much of what is going on day to day.

Just wondered if anyone else here had or has experience of dealing with Stroke in their lives and if they could perhaps share their stories and any advice.
 
Last edited:

mjn

Distinguished Member
My Dad has had 2 in the last 2 years and they’ve taken their toll on him. These last 12 months after the strokes have really made him frail. Cannot walk more than a few steps, cannot stand up for long periods, etc.
 

mikemag

Distinguished Member
I’m very sorry to hear about your Mum. My Dad had two strokes over the Summer of 2019 and did come back from them but the best way I can describe it is that we got 70% of him back after the first one but 70% of the 70% that was left after the second one. He became very confused about things quite easily and he didn’t really leave the house, which was a major change for someone who used to go for a walk come rain or shine.

Eventually a third stroke in November took away his ability to eat and he passed away after five days in hospital.

I hope she is as comfortable as possible.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
I’m very sorry to hear about your Mum. My Dad had two strokes over the Summer of 2019 and did come back from them but the best way I can describe it is that we got 70% of him back after the first one but 70% of the 70% that was left after the second one. He became very confused about things quite easily and he didn’t really leave the house, which was a major change for someone who used to go for a walk come rain or shine.

Eventually a third stroke in November took away his ability to eat and he passed away after five days in hospital.

I hope she is as comfortable as possible.
I'm sorry to hear about your Dad.

I guess what I'm most scared of is my Mum not getting any better and just surviving as she is now for several years. My brother was in a Road Traffic accident 3 years ago that left him with severe brain damage. He lived for 2 years unable to walk, talk or communicate in anyway. He passed away a year ago and I don't want my mum to live out the rest of her life like this.
 

brunation

Well-known Member
Here I am 2 weeks later and she is still with us although she's being fed through a tube and she is bedridden.
My Mum was fed through a tube until she went into a nursing home. They assessed her and had the tube removed and while she had to be fed by someone, the tube never returned.

Just wondered if anyone else here had or has experience of dealing with Stroke in their lives and if they could perhaps share their stories and any advice.

Ask them about vascular dementia.

You need to be prepared for the brutal and/or practical side of things.

Do you have any other siblings or relatives to help with visiting?

If your Mother has any friends make sure you've informed them (and neighbours).
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
@RicksonGracie1972 that's a very similar situation to where I found myself about 4 years ago.

My dad was into his 80s and fairly fit, not on any medication etc. At 82 he had a heart attack but made a good recovery, then at 83 he went into hospital with low blood pressure and was being investigated for more heart issues.

The morning after his admission he had a massive stroke. He was quickly given the "clot buster" medication but ended up in the same boat as your mum, we were taken into the "breaking bad news" room, working in an ICU for so long I knew what it was...

We too were told that he would likely not survive. Massive damage done, make your preparations etc. We started planning his funeral, contacting the guy who officiate etc.

Instead, he made a bit of a recovery after about a week. Paralysed down one side but was quite clear and understood everything. Speech was a bit rough but could make him out.

He had to go into a nursing home as he was obviously completely dependant on assistance for eating and toileting etc. And despite some attempts at physio he never walked again.

Within about a year vascular dementia had set in and confusion increased. About a year later he took a big down turn and started to forget people, kept asking why my mum (dead 20 years) and his brother (dead 18 years) didn't come to visit him.

Last week he didn't recognise me which was rough.

Sorry I don't have much happy news for you pal, strokes are a bastard. They often don't kill you, they just fudge you up and leave you to stew in the mess they've made.

All the best to you and your mum. Hopefully she'll be able to make a better recovery.
 
Last edited:

NatTheGooner

Well-known Member
I had a stroke 4 years ago, face dropped and speech slurred. The brain is pretty good at recovering but you have to work at it as soon as you can. Looking in the mirror whilst doing vocal exercises tells the brain what is and isn’t moving. The more you do the better but improvements can still occur for several years.
I hope she pulls through mate.
 

dbc243

Standard Member
My dad had 1 big stroke and then 4 smaller ones, if there is such a thing, almost 12 months ago to the day. i had to agree to a DNR as my mother couldn’t do it.
he made a decent recovery, struggles physically but mentally fine. He says it takes him longer to fold the paper than to do the crossword. Brains are a funny old beast, strange way of re routing I guess.

be positive and the hardest part for me was being patient with both him and the docs
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
The more you do the better but improvements can still occur for several years.
Fair play to you @NatTheGooner

Apologies for being a miserable prick, I just re-read my previous post and realised how bloody pessimistic it was...

There definitely can be good recovery, as Nat proves. Problem was that my dad couldn't handle the rehab that they tried and it was physically downhill from there.

Fortunately although he's very confused most of the time, he's not agitated or distressed. Just lost in his mad little world.
 

NatTheGooner

Well-known Member
as a PSA..
I was 47 (non smoker non drinker) and my stroke was caused by a PFO hole in the heart that was there from birth (I had no idea). 1 in 4 people have a hole in their heart but if it’s smaller than 4mm it’s OK, mine was 8mm and a piece of gunk or clot snuck through it instead of being filtered by my lungs and caused a blockage and the stroke.
I decided to pay £18,000 to get the hole fixed rather than rely on super blood thinners. The guy who did the operation said that migraines and maybe varicose veins can be an indicator of a hole in the heart - but it wasn’t a proven theory. I had migraine auras occasionally maybe once every 6 weeks not really a problem but since my op I’ve not had a single one.
If I had known about the hole I would have been on tablets or had the hole fixed but I had no idea. The test is called a bubble echo.
I’m pretty much fully recovered but I now have Anxiety from the shock of it all and that is truly awful.
 

Xenomorph

Member
I think with strokes the lasting effects and possible recovery depend on the severity. Unfortunately my gran did not fair well after having several strokes, and was severely incapacitated. There is nothing much you can do, other than visit your Mum and provide comfort.
Sorry but that's the truth about this awful condition.
 

NatTheGooner

Well-known Member
following on in an awful twist, 8 days later as I was recovering at home my younger sister was in a car crash (other driver over-taking in fog) she had some broken bones but seemed OK but they missed a couple of cracked vertebrae in her neck and just after I had been texting her in hospital the cracked bone severed an artery in her neck and she also had a stroke (a big one) 33% of her brain was damaged - BUT she is now is almost fully recovered too, in fact I would struggle to know that she ever had such a large stroke if I didn’t know.
The brain is very adaptable and will keep rewiring its self over a longer period than was previously thought.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
My Mum was fed through a tube until she went into a nursing home. They assessed her and had the tube removed and while she had to be fed by someone, the tube never returned.



Ask them about vascular dementia.

You need to be prepared for the brutal and/or practical side of things.

Do you have any other siblings or relatives to help with visiting?

If your Mother has any friends make sure you've informed them (and neighbours).
How did you fund the nursing home? Was it NHS funded or did you have to sell your mums home?

Why do I need to ask about Vascular dementia?
My Mum did tell me the other day that she was sad that her Mum was no longer with us. She died 30+ years ago, so i've no idea why this suddenly made her sad.

I have no siblings and my Mum's brothers are both in their 80's and live 300+ & 100+ miles away.
 

lee1980

Well-known Member
My Mum was only 57, when she seemed to of fallen over in kitchen, it was early eve on a Friday. Sadly back then not so much about stroke awareness in hospitals and no one about to administer the clot busting drug.
So we will never know if this could of helped reverse effects of stroke or on flip side can kill but no one there to do this so will never know sadly.
Now left side paralysis which has got better, left arm still not function and walking is very slow.
Typically right side stroke i think they said speech is not usually affected but hers is and struggles to speak get words out and as stroke was so big nearly died from it, it seems to have wiped out short time memory to. So for us many issues and my Dad is now full time carer, just when both had given up work to retire fully to.
Overall its not so much the physical issues more so the communication issues with speech and memory that make it hard to deal with.
With clot busting drug may have had less side effects!
 

brunation

Well-known Member
Why do I need to ask about Vascular dementia?
You don't.

Within about a year vascular dementia had set in and confusion increased. About a year later he took a big down turn and started to forget people, kept asking why my mum (dead 20 years) and his brother (dead 18 years) didn't come to visit him.
^^^ this.

Vascular dementia occurs. It is something to be aware of because unlike dementia its onset can be quick and like @DrPhil's father the person's timeline gradually rewinds.

How did you fund the nursing home?
Was it NHS funded or did you have to sell your mums home?
Had she survived long enough then this would have had to be done.

Here I am 2 weeks later and she is still with us although she's being fed through a tube and she is bedridden.

Unless medical care is required then the NHS will discharge the patient.

Is there a Power of Attorney in place with respect to incapacity?
 

Simian Sibling

Distinguished Member
Why do I need to ask about Vascular dementia?
My Mum did tell me the other day that she was sad that her Mum was no longer with us. She died 30+ years ago, so i've no idea why this suddenly made her sad.
when the brain is starved of oxygen it can kill brain cells. Dementia is essentially brain cells dying or becoming damaged in various different ways. Vascular dementia happens due to a stroke and a head CT would be needed (they also do blood tests) but it’s way to early to have the head CT for dementia. You’d have to wait but it might be a good conversation to have.
I know it’s not a subject that people like to talk about but have you discussed a do not resuscitate (DNAR) for her?
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
@RicksonGracie1972 that's a very similar situation to where I found myself about 4 years ago.

My dad was into his 80s and fairly fit, not on any medication etc. At 82 he had a heart attack but made a good recovery, then at 83 he went into hospital with low blood pressure and was being investigated for more heart issues.

The morning after his admission he had a massive stroke. He was quickly given the "clot buster" medication but ended up in the same boat as your mum, we were taken into the "breaking bad news" room, working in an ICU for so long I knew what it was...

We too were told that he would likely not survive. Massive damage done, make your preparations etc. We started planning his funeral, contacting the guy who officiate etc.

Instead, he made a bit of a recovery after about a week. Paralysed down one side but was quite clear and understood everything. Speech was a bit rough but could make him out.

He had to go into a nursing home as he was obviously completely dependant on assistance for eating and toileting etc. And despite some attempts at physio he never walked again.

Within about a year vascular dementia had set in and confusion increased. About a year later he took a big down turn and started to forget people, kept asking why my mum (dead 20 years) and his brother (dead 18 years) didn't come to visit him.

Last week he didn't recognise me which was rough.

Sorry I don't have much happy news for you pal, strokes are a bastard. They often don't kill you, they just fudge you up and leave you to stew in the mess they've made.

All the best to you and your mum. Hopefully she'll be able to make a better recovery.

I know you're in Ireland Phil, so different health service over there, but how was the Nursing home funded.
How long was he in hospital before he was moved to a Nursing home?

I was told yesterday that they are trying to get my Mum to take food, rather than through the tube, and I recall being told that once she is able to feed that she can be moved to a nursing home.
My mum lives 50 miles away so everyday i'm dong a 100 mile round trip, which isn't sustainable long term. Will they let me move her to a Nursing home close to me?
That said, the local ones to me cost up to £1000 a week
 

Frederico21

Standard Member
My mum had a massive stroke about 3 years ago, she died this time last year. She couldn't make herself understood but recognised me all the time. Obviously she was looked after in the specialist home for those two years, in hindsight I wouldn't say she was that unhappy. She didn't seem to know any better.
Anyway lifes sh*t sometimes, lost both my parents around about this time last year, it was their time . One day it will be mine.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
when the brain is starved of oxygen it can kill brain cells. Dementia is essentially brain cells dying or becoming damaged in various different ways. Vascular dementia happens due to a stroke and a head CT would be needed (they also do blood tests) but it’s way to early to have the head CT for dementia. You’d have to wait but it might be a good conversation to have.
I know it’s not a subject that people like to talk about but have you discussed a do not resuscitate (DNAR) for her?
When she was admitted the doctor in A&E who told me she might not last 24 hours did mention a DNAR but I never got around to signing one and it hasn't been mentioned since.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
Is there a Power of Attorney in place with respect to incapacity?
This is something that we started about 18 months ago but the solicitors seemed to have taken ages sorting this out.
The last I heard was that everything had been signed off and that it had been sent somewhere to be registered, this was probably 6 months ago so it must have been finalised by now.
 

brunation

Well-known Member
Will they let me move her to a Nursing home close to me?
If you have Power of Welfare (can't recall exact title) then you'll decide which home she will be discharged too.

You should get ahead of the game and identify the homes near yourself. You should have the equivalent of the Care Inspectorate in England and use that. Be aware that homes will assess your mother and may reject her for admission: that happened to us.

It may be different in England but here the discharge officer works with Social Work and they appoint someone to deal with your mother's case. They assisted us in finding a home, telephoning them about vacancies etc whereas all we did was inspect the home. Several were rejected on the grounds of location.

Are you in a different council or health area to the hospital?
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
How long was he in hospital before he was moved to a Nursing home?
He was in hospital about a month, they tried a few methods of rehab and physio but he wasn't taking to them at all so they had to pull back. If your mum can be encouraged at all to push through the discomfort of that then she really should. The sooner she starts and more she achieves early on, the better her long term recovery can be.

Again I'm sorry for being so miserable, but 84 is a tough time to start relearning stuff like that. My dad was younger and didn't manage any rehab. That said he was becoming quite frail and weak in the year between his heart attack and his stroke.


I know you're in Ireland Phil, so different health service over there, but how was the Nursing home funded?
Yeah different system, but most likely the same fundamentals.

Apologies for going into business mode and ignoring the more important aspect (your mum's health) for a second but I've been through the exact same and sadly a pragmatic approach is needed. I'd be absolutely fuming if my life's savings were stripped to fund my nursing care while those who never worked in their life get it free! My poor dad was disgusted to know how much the home cost too.

In Ireland if you need nursing home care, there is a means tested support scheme. However because my dad had sold the remains of his farm a few years back, he was pretty flush, a few hundred k in the bank.

If he had applied to the support scheme, they'd have taken a percentage of his house value for the first 3 years, and a percentage of his cash savings for the rest of his days. Basically within about 5-6 years they'd have stripped him back to broke. He'd have been left with about 60% of the value of his house (so about €50k) and the house would have been unsellable until after the 3 years and due to the condition of it, it would have sat empty.

He could transfer his assets and then apply, but they would go back 5 years to look for "deprivation of assets".

The other solution that I figured out (I love loopholes) was that if dad transferred his house and savings into our names (2 sons) then we could pay for his care privately for the first 5 years, then after that time he could apply for support and would escape the 5 year back track of his finances.

The home costs about €50k a year, but by writing off a lot of that and claiming tax relief it brings the cost down to about €35k a year so €17.5k each).

So after a few weeks when it became clear that he was going to pull through but need nursing care, I had the thoroughly morbid job of making a risk assessment and deciding which option to go for. If dad survived less than 3 years then going straight into the scheme would cost less. If he lived beyond 3 years then the asset deprivation would cost less.

I'm kind the practical one in the family so I figured that out, got his bank manager, doctor and solicitor together to do the necessary POA paperwork etc and grant me full control of his finances. We (it sounds horrible) stripped his assets bare and started paying for his care privately.

So in your situation, I'd suggest speaking to an accountant or tax advisor. Solicitors in my experience aren't much use in this as they won't (or legally can't) give financial advice. Maybe that's harsh, but it was true in my case, and that of a friend who almost lost her family farm due to her solicitor not advising on it.

I did a lot of research and then spoke to my accountant who fact checked my findings and gave an estimate on the tax relief etc in order to help with my calculated decision.

An accountant should be able to tell you the legislation and the tax relief options (I think it's 7 years in the UK as opposed to 5).
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Also repeating the thoughts of @brunation and @Simian Sibling I would stress, sort out the documentation now.

While dad was in hospital the doctor discussed DNAR. again having worked in ICU for 17 years I have seen sad cases where a family don't agree and it results in unnecessary suffering. Only you will know the situation with your mum, but for me it was no question. My dad was very active all his life, independent and driving etc right up until the day before the stroke. If he had the choice of dying of a heart attack or being left in the position he is now, paralysed-incontinent-confused, he would have signed the DNAR himself.

Also with regards to power of attorney, if its currently in progress, chase it up. If its not started yet, do it now. If your mum is currently compus mentus and able to give consent, then get things in motion. My dad was fully with it for about 6 months after the stroke, but then started deteriorating gradually but with occasional big drops.
 

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: Streaming Theatrical Releases And The Future Of Cinema
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Melco update improves N10, N100 and N1 EX digital libraries
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Loewe launches We.See TVs under new 'We. by Loewe' sub-brand
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Movies Podcast: 1st December 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Rumour: Samsung even closer to OLED TVs in 2022?
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Audio-Technica launches ATH-SQ1TW true wireless earphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom