By Genevieve Waples Smith R.N., M.A. (auth.)
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Additional info for Care of the Patient with a Stroke: A Handbook for the Patient’s Family and the Nurse
While plenty of rest is essential, sufficient exercise is important, and the patient may need to be urged to go for a walk. As he exercises, his physical condition improves. Keep his mind occupied with something other than himself, and he will not have so much time to dwell on his physical feelings. It all adds LIp to good daily living. It is not uncommon for a patient to become subject to convulsive seizures. These are due to damage to the brain tissue, 38 RETURN TO LIVING which has left the nerves in an irritable state.
As sensation returns to the face, he will begin to notice objects on the affected side, and show more interest in his surroundings. Drooling and the spilling of food at mealtime will also diminish. Until sensation returns to the face, the patient should make a habit of running his fork up his chin occasionally at EXPANDING PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES 35 mealtimes to catch what food spills. That and wiping his chin and mouth with a napkin should be the last thing he does as he leaves the table. Between meals he should wipe his chin once in a while with a handkerchief if he has a tendency to drool.
The cane will touch the floor four to six inches away from the side of the patient's foot, and slightly forward. If the balance is very poor it may help if the cane touches the floor further away from the patient, giving more support from the greater angle. Allow him to experiment a little to find what feels to him to be the easiest way. As he feels more sure of himself, he should be encouraged to use the right method. Start the patient walking without his cane around the house. No matter where he is there will be something he can reach and grasp to steady himself if necessary.
Care of the Patient with a Stroke: A Handbook for the Patient’s Family and the Nurse by Genevieve Waples Smith R.N., M.A. (auth.)