Doctors and physios have given up

Hello, My dad had a stroke on 3/11. Despite no ambulance we got him to hospital about an hour later and he was diagnosed with a haemhorragic stroke deep in his brain. He is now doubly incontinent, can sit unsupported for 1 - 2 minutes, can’t move his left arm or leg and he’s been diagnosed with delirium. His confusion has eased slightly in the last week, but he still thinks he can walk and o one will let him. I live 270 miles away and the physios say he is unlikely to get any better.
Is this true? everything I have read says that improvements are most likely in the first 3 months, the stroke was 5 weeks ago! I think they just want the bed thb.
He cant go home because my mum is not well enough to look after him and couldn’t possibly keep him clean when carers aren’t there.
Has anyone else been written off so soon? He’ll have to go to a nursing home but we are just praying he can get his continence back and then come home with carers. Sorry this is long and probably doesn’t make much sense. He’s only 76.


Hi @mooresatmill

Post stroke truly is an alien landscape where nothing makes sense for any of the people involved carers families and survivor .

Most of the questions you are asking are entirely predictable. All of the concerns you’ve raised have been raised here before.
If you use the magnifying glass above you search for relevant posts or you use the categories in the menus you will be able to find those discussions - they contain the rich variety of answers that are needed to cover the fact that different peoples strokes have different characteristics . In Total our discussions are normally cover a wider variety of what might apply in your case

Discharge should not be until a care package is in place but equally there are very real pressures on every aspect of NHS services and what has to be done locally to keep the lights on is probably desperate and different in different places
You should also contact adult social services as they have a statutory obligations - but still may not have any budget

Improvements in the first few months will be capability that was not destroyed returning . improvement will go on for as long as effort is made in pursuit of it and that would be long after 6 months
autonomic functions like swallowing and continence do generally improve but that’s no guarantee in an individual case - see what the search on here throws up

You might also look at
Bladder and bowel problems | Stroke Association.

Management of Urinary and Faecal Incontinence Post Stroke

I’ll bet our discussions on this forum are you more useful


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It is so difficult to offer an accurate prognosis. You’ll just have to take it day by day and keep an eye on his progress. I hope he does improve soon, Good luck


@mooresatmill hi & welcome to the forum. Sorry you’ve had cause to join is but you’re very welcome here.

It is true that improvements are faster in the first few months but they can be made for many months / years if someone is determined enough & puts in the hard work.

It is so difficult when a loved one is struck by stroke & it affects everyone not just the patient. Physio etc relies on the individual being able to participate in it & if your dad has been delerious it is likely that he won’t be able to just yet. The drs have to prioritise what they deal with first & then move on to other areas once they are well enough.

Have they said why he is unlikely to improve? I’d be asking them for more details. You do have to push them hard sometimes they who shout loudest as the saying goes. Yoh could try speaking to PALS as they might be able to help you get more info.

They shouldn’t discharge your dad without sufficient care in place but there will come a point where he will be moved from hospital to care home or similar. It may be prudent to do some some research around this so you are happy with where they send him…although the options may be limited.

Wishing your dad & allyour family the best of luck.


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It’s terrible what you’re going through. I lived through this with my mother when she was almost 70 years-old.

I am not sure what the outcome will be. My mother lost her mind over time from her stroke (OCD, severe apathy, irrational thinking, Othello Syndrome, etc.). She became delirious after her seizures (1.5 years after her stroke) and never came out of it. So I know what delirium is, too, unfortunately.

Will your father get better? I don’t know. His older age is an issue. Once you’re in your 70s, it can be more difficult to make big progress. The delirium may get better, but don’t expect 100% improvement. Also, the incontinence may improve in a few months, although there is no guarantee. You will know more of the “big picture” in a few months’ time. He might really improve with his mind, and his paralysis might improve spontaneously in the next few months, although it’s best to continue physio, if possible. But, then you say that they gave up on him?? Already? I can tell you why. Because he is so delirious. They acted this way with my mother, too.

I can’t make predictions, but I can tell you to expect that your father will never be the same again. That said, he can make some improvements, and possibly avoid a care home, though I’m afraid that a care home might be his best bet, if you cannot care for him in a home setting. Your mother is not well enough to care for him. He will really have to make some major progress to avoid needing 24/7 care.

My heart goes out to you – it really does. I lived this. My mother recovered very well physically after her stroke in about 6-8 months, but she lost her mind, so…

There is always hope, okay? Just keep your hopes realistic. Physios are sometimes wrong, I’m afraid. When they see an older person who is not sane of mind after a stroke, they give up on the person, no matter if they have the potential to get better physically or mentally. I know this first-hand

Please take good care of yourself. Again, my heart breaks for you. I’ve been through this. It’s awful, but it’s life, right? None of us gets out of suffering.


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One of the truest statement I’ve ever heard:

“Post stroke truly is an alien landscape where nothing makes sense for any of the people involved carers families and survivor”

I almost lost my mind taking care of my mother after her stroke. My dad wasn’t far behind. If we had not had each other, we would have never got through it all." I can still cry thinking about the fear, the loneliness, the sadness…the “I don’t want tomorrow to come”… God, strokes are brutal.


That’s very true - they leave an indelible ‘impact crater’ in everyone

How is your healing going @Matthew1798 ?


I am okay. Healing from grief is a slow process. :man_lifting_weights: