The goal of stroke recovery, especially for seniors susceptible to having recurrent strokes due to underlying conditions, is to reduce future risk as much as possible. Medications are often prescribed to address issues like depression, anxiety, and insomnia that may arise following a stroke and increase the risk of a second stroke. Here are some of the most commonly prescribed post-stroke medications.
Anticoagulants (blood thinners) are the first medications seniors are likely to receive following strokes. Blood thinners can greatly reduce the risk of recurrent strokes in seniors with conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Seniors need to be monitored carefully when first given blood thinners due to the risk of bleeding complications in some individuals.
A trained home caregiver can monitor your loved one for medication side effects. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a third of all stroke survivors experience some degree of depression. Caregivers who know their loved ones’ normal frame of mind best are often better at spotting possible signs of depression following a stroke. Frequently prescribed medications include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Anticonvulsant medicines
Stroke can affect the body’s natural sleep cycle, sometimes resulting in either chronic insomnia or difficulty falling and staying asleep. Medications often prescribed to address sleep issues following a stroke include:
- Antidepressants with sedation side effects (including trazodone and mirtazapine)
- Chloral hydrate (has to be taken in smaller dosages or taken for a limited time to reduce addiction risk)
- Benzodiazepines (also recommended for short-term use only)
If your loved one needs assistance while recovering from a stroke, consider enlisting the help of a trained home caregiver. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Sarasota at-home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
Some seniors become increasingly anxious after strokes, sometimes to the point where added nervousness interferes with their recovery. Benzodiazepines can address short-term anxiety in seniors, provided there are no interactions with other medications they may be taking for other conditions. Additional anti-anxiety medications typically prescribed post-stroke may include:
- Duloxetine/Cymbalta (also treats depression and nerve pain, may also help with mood)
- Mild sedatives
- Buspirone (a mild tranquilizer that can be safely used long-term)
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Sarasota, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (941) 702-5525 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.