Help and advice

Hi, I'm hoping someone can offer me some help and advice.

My dad whos in his 70's had a stroke 4days ago. He lives on his own and wasn't found for around 5 hours. He's lost his sight on his left side and has lost all strength on the left side.

What can I expect to happen now? He had his first physiotherapy session today to try and get him standing.

What can I do to help him. How long roughtly can we expect him to be in hospital? I'm so worried scared and confused by it all. I just want any help or advice you may have.

Also as he lives alone and his house would need a lot of adapting to be suitable for him. Will we get help with this? Thank you in advance. 

Hello LG81,

I must first give you the usual disclaimers of:

Every Stroke is different and every recovery is different, mainly because of where in the brain it has been damaged and how much damage there is.

Secondly, none of us are qualified medical professionals, so we can give you the benefit of our experiences and knowledge but that is no substitute for professional medical advice.

That said, I was similar to your father at first, mostly paralysed on the left side of my body and with only 75% vision after my stroke, plus a few other issues such as incontinence and inability to swallow.

I walked out of hospital four months after my stroke. My vision is 93% intact now, after several years of recovery that the experts said would not occur. 

Eight and a half years after my stroke, I am mostly recovered and live alone, working full time five days a week. I was only 43 when I had my stroke.

The biggest impacts were emotional and cognitive issues caused by the stroke. It was easy to become depressed, confused and angry but that has diminished over time.

It is still early days for your father: he may see a lot of recovery in the coming days, weeks and months. There is no reason he can’t live a fairly normal life in time but do work with the medical professionals who should be assigned to work with him.

The worst is now over, in many ways. Stroke is a progressive condition and survivors do generally improve unless there are other factors at play. It may not feel like a very positive situation but he can have a good recovery and still live a very full life.

If you’ve more specific questions, ask away!

Take care now,


Wow thank you so much for replying. I've never experienced anyone have a stroke so everything is totally new and scary. I completely understand how every case is different but reading your positive recovery gives me more hope. Its such a shock to see my strong independent dad looking so fragile. 

Can I ask you what at this point I can do to help my dad. I'm visiting everyday and trying to keep conversation positive and talk about my everyday. Trying not to talk to much on what's happened. He's also incontinent so I'm taking his washing daily and returning it with out making it an issue as he's a proud man and it's upset him when I've been visiting and he hasn't been able to get help to the toilet. I've said dad it's fine it's all part of recovery.

I've ask questions to the nurses but they just seem so busy I don't want to be in there way. 

Also what time frame can I expect dad to stay in hospital? And if his home isn't suitable for him to return to will we be offered help? 

I'm sorry for the ramberling random questions it's just lifted me to read your reply. 

Thank you again 


Hello and welcome to the Forum, 

We are sorry to hear your Dad has had a Stroke but, as Damien said, each Stroke is different and recovery takes its own route. We can only share our own journey, two years on. John is in his 70’s, active, fit and healthy but the Stroke was caught immediately. He was treated within the hour. I’ll post a link.

We are both retired so don’t have pressure of work so I was able to spend a lot of time with him in the hospital. Initially, I sat through the night whilst I watched the clot buster work its magic, changing him from paralysed, no speech, no left side movement to someone who could be propped up in bed 10 hours later. We’re very fortunate because the OT and physio came to see him whilst our two sons were there. They were ‘interrogated’ on how best to help their Dad so treatment started straight away!!

I went in at 9.0 every morning, with hospital approval, and left just after 8.0 pm. Over the five days he progressed from bed to having a shower and was able to walk down the corridor with me. Monday, the sixth day, the Consultant was so astonished at his progress that he discharged him. I know your Dad is further back down the line but you will see progress. Many of us have kept a diary which is really helpful in showing the patient how far they have come. You are already doing positive things to help him just by being there! If or when he can, help him to develop fine motor skills such as moving and picking up plastic cup, pieces of say, Lego, then coins, bits of rice/pebbles, cards,,,,, Constant praise works wonders. You sound just the person to deliver that. I know you will be inundated with more help and support from others so I’ll not ramble on. Give your Dad our good wishes for a speedy recovery. Look after yourself, too. Sooo important!

Veronica and John ??

Here’s the link


Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about dad’s stroke and the fact that he wasn’t found for five hours. My stroke was three years ago, when I was 72, and, luckily, I was found immediately. I also lost all feeling on my left side. I had no physio the first 8 days as my stroke happened in Devon and I spent 4 days there before being brought back to Worcestershire, my home county.

Recovery varies from individual to individual and the help and support available depend very much on your local health authority. I spent a month in a local rehab ward where,like dad, the first thing they got me to do was stand, then transfer to a chair. One day, my fingers moved by themselves. My partner was so amazed he asked me to do it again, which I did.

In this early stage, my emotions were shot to pieces. I was like a child. I had to be taught to walk again, to tie my own shoelaces (that took ages) and to wash and shave. I dug deep to do these things and the physio team gave me ‘tough love’, absolutely necessary because self motivation is low and muscles in the elderly waste away quickly.

Now in Worcestershire we are lucky because we have a Community Stroke Team. Before being allowed home, I was taken on a home visit to see what adaptations were needed so I could function safely. The health authority also had a contract with the NHS to pay for these adaptations, So Age UK put in a hand rail and seat in the existing shower, raised existing furniture with casters and put a hand grab at the bottom and top of the stairs. They also put in another hand bannister opposite the existing one and lent me a walking frame for downstairs and one for upstairs, However, until I was taught to climb the stairs, I had to sleep downstairs for three weeks.

For the first month, the Community Team gave me physio at home for an hour every day plus exercises to practise by myself. I had a visit from the Community Nurse and my doctor. Then I had physio Monday to Friday for an hour every day for a month. I was taught how to climb the stairs and how to use the kitchen safely. I also had a bottle so I could pee safely at night. I then had Monday- Friday physio for an hour a day before home support stopped.

After this, I was referred on to hospital for weekly physio and that continued for another 9 months until I reached a good level of proficiency. The time was that long because of my willingness to practise and improve. I then found myself a local exercise class to go to and I now go three times a week. I am not as able as I was, but I do pretty well.

I write at length so you can check whether dad’s health authority offers this level of support. A lot will also depend on dad’s willpower and determination. Encourage him all you can. As survivors, there is a tendency to give up, but persistence pays off. Progress may also be slower than you and dad expect. Please also be aware many of us get post stroke fatigue and need to rest a lot during the day. I still need an hour in bed every day around noon.

Also, please look after yourself. Stroke affects partners and family members. I am lucky that I have a partner at home, but partners need breaks as dealing with survivors can be quite draining. Finally, before I left hospital I was told to expect falls, bumps and bruises. I was also taught how to get up from a fall. I did have falls, not too many, but a big surprise none the less. I also bought kitchen aids to avoid accidents etc.

As I have said and others will add to this, recovery varies from individual to individual. There is little medical support once released back home and Stroke, although a major health concern, is a bit of a Cinderella when it comes to funding. The Stroke Association, though, are marvellous and they will advise on benefits and local support services. You have only to ring their helpline. I wish you and dad all the best.

Hello again,

Your father should be under the care of an MDT - Multi-Disciplinary Team. This should include all of the following:

His primary consultant;

A Physiotherapist - who will work on his mobility and other physical deficits;

An Occupational Therapist - who will assess his cognitive capabilities and work towards making him independent, possibly using adaptations if necessary;

A Speech And Language Therapist (SALT) who will work with any swallowing or speech issues;

A Social worker, who will look at home adaptations and services, if required or any care homes. They will be under pressure to support getting your father out of the hospital and back into the community

Additionally, his primary care nurse while in hospital will be consulted around how he is progressing or adapting.

In terms of measuring progress, they use something called the Barthel Index to assess how independent someone is (

Medical Studies have shown that the most significant indicator of independence is the ability to "transfer" - move from one place to another, eg, bed to chair, wheelchair to toilet, etc.

With a Stroke affecting the right side of your brain, there are significant emotional and language issues. Emotional in terms of anxiety and depression. Language in terms of understanding things very literally, but otherwise quite normal.

It will all feel quite overwhelming for those of you around your father. He can still live a very full life and, fortunately, isn't one of those killed by the Stroke.

Take care now, all of you,




My Dad also had a stroke last August while he was 70.  It has been long, slow progress. He started with no swallow, limited speech and no mobility on the right side.  He stayed in hospital until November and was sent home with a package from the Early Discharge Team.  My Mum was terrified and really struggled in the early days with all the intrusion in her house.  Dad had a bed delivered for downstairs, comode and wheelchair.  Dad has done amazing and improves daily.  He now eats normally, speech is great, walks with a splint and quad stick.  He still has no movement in the arm/hand and his memory is not what it was.  He gets stroke fatigue and naps if needed.  He has started to get out of the house and we take him for walks in his wheelchair which he loves.

Yes it is a long recovery and as mentioned we write a healing diary to help him to see how well he has done.  He is very emotional, but I have a 'new Dad' and we are all learning to live with this.  

Hope your Dad recovers well, please make sure you speak up and get as much infomation as possible from this forum, they really helped me.  

Feel free to message me if you have any questions or need to sound off.


Thank you so much for all your replies. Dad is slowly getting better at getting up from the chair and walking/shuffling to the toilet. He is very stubborn and wants to do everything for himself. So we all have to remind him to slow down and take his time with the task that we used to take for granted. Laughter has become a massive part of our visits. My dad's such a proud man and never ask for help his whole life. He was very shocked with some of the help the nurses have given him in the bathroom /washing department.

Reading all your stories has help be see there is light at the end of the tunnel however long it takes 

Sometimes you've just gotta laugh - the whole thing would be too sad otherwise, laughing counts towards your 4 smiles a day, all those lovely endorphins giving off their feel-good factor.  

Shortly after my husband's stroke, he slipped over in the garden and landed in a very large flower pot.  Instead of rushing to his aid I just collapsed with giggles, as he reminded me of an old (ancient) children's TV programme "The Flower Pot Men"!!  He also saw the funny side, and we never fail to find something to laugh at, no matter how warped it might seem.  I really believe that being able to laugh in the face of such a traumatic experience has helped us to pull through, so whatever else you - keep laughing !!  ??

Best wishes xx

Hi Nicabella. I laugh at myself all the time. Most of my accidents are in the kitchen, but I have had falls. The last one was in the bedroom, where I was battling with the duvet cover. I fell off the bed with a big thud. Chris, my partner, called up the stairs, ‘Are you all right?’ ‘No,’ I shouted back, ‘I’ve fallen off the bed!’ ‘Okay,’ he replied, then vanished out the garden. He is getting deaf, but refuses to admit it. After that, this poor old beached whale had to get up by himself. But at least I know how to!

Haha, that scenario is straight out of sit-com land, so funny!!  I'm sure that all the SSs must have an innate sense of humour which is so crucial to their recovery.  I'm sure you & Chris regularly remember the episode and have a good giggle at yourselves!!  

Enjoy the day - sadly it's raining here, so we're stuck indoors ?