Mums had a stroke

Hi, 3 weeks ago tomorrow we found Mum on her bedroom floor having suffered a stroke. She had a tia about 2 years ago. Then her recovery was very quick (24 hours before her speech returned and right arm movement returned) this time things are very different. She can say odd words but struggles to say anything else. Whilst the nursing staff say she has movement in her arm and can weight bear because we can't see her due to Covid we really don't know how much movement she has. On Christmas Day she was quite engaged and even sang carols when someone came on the ward but the last 3 days are like we have taken massive steps backwards. She can't talk, is laid in bed and can't seem to engage with us. The nursing staff say she is tired. I suppose I'm after reassurance that all of the above is completely normal. Mum was 78 on Boxing Day. Thank you for any advice/insights into what is happening. 

Hello Meg3165,

Almost all strokes are unique in their own way - they depend upon the location of any damage within the brain and the extent of it. Mum not being able to speak and still being bed-bound is fairly normal. She should now be under the care of a Multidisciplinary team which should include a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist all under the direction of her stroke consultant. They will be assessing her on all fronts and starting to plan her eventual discharge. 

At this stage her primary carer (husband, partner or whoever will be responsible for her), should be talking with her stroke consultant who is best placed to answer any questions.

You will, of course, want Mum back to normal and back home as soon as possible but she has survived a brain injury and will be affected by that. She isn't especially old and can make a good recovery with determination, support and good therapy. Many stroke survivors live for many years after their stroke and life generally gets better with time.

If you've more specific questions, do ask away - none of us are medical professionals but there are decades of combined experience of many strokes spread across the members of this site.

Take care now, both you and your Mum,


Hi Damian

thank you for your reply and reassuring me that being bed bound is fairly normal. 

I have spoken to several staff on her ward but not her stroke consultant, I will ask to do that tomorrow. Unfortunately the staff I have spoken to change so often there seems to be no continuity other than them saying she is tired.

Mum is on her own (Dad sadly passed away 4 years ago) I keep trying to live day by day because the future is terrifying me at the moment as she has always said she doesn't want to go in a care home and I can't see a way how we will be able to manage without that happening.

Hello again,

If she is determined and responds to her therapies, Mum will hopefully be able to go  home and perhaps be supported in the community without needing to go into a home. There are also different types of care home - some have physiotherapists and continue to rehabilitate their residents so they can live fuller lives - much depends upon where you live and how affected Mum is after the stroke. It's over ten years since I was discharged and I was predicted to be in a care home for the rest of my life, which never happened.

Taking things one day at a time is sensible; the worst may not happen but 'the system' will try to find a solution for you to give Mum some quality of life. I saw many survivors young and old make progress, go home and lead good lives afterwards during my time in hospital and later as a Stroke Association volunteer.


Dear Meg

so sorry to learn of Mums stroke.

I too got out of bed one December morning, only to find i couldnt get off the floor.
Us stroke survivors get very very tired. Partly due to our brains being too busy trying to repair the stroke damage. It will be getting some of the damaged cells to repair and then looking for alternative routes to work around the dead cells that will not repair.

I struggled to speak. I just wanted to rest. This was four years before covid, so visitors came and went. Visitors are not a good idea. I wanted peace and quiet. The effort needed to hear words, sort them in to order, take them in, work out what they meant then try to reply well that was huge.

three months later speech was ok.

any wiggle of a toe is relevant and good news. Mum can then wiggle her toe and generate use.

weight bearing is again excellent advancing. I havent heard that terminology, but if Mum can transfer then options are good.

TIAs are by definition transient, ie they recover quite quickly. Full strokes are a different category. 

My memory has deteriorated. Part of it was totally wiped, so i have about one year that i cant recall. 

i havent come across survivors deteriorating. We generally get better and better albeit at snails pace. But yes, the need to sleep is huge.

as Damian said, every stroke is different. Many problems are common amongst us but no two are identical.
regarding next stages. Mum will hopefully transfer(eg from bed to chair) She will be signed off as medically fit. She may then go to a rehab ward. She will be assesed as to how she will cope back in the real world. She will go past the four week stage, which is generally when we are out of danger.

stroke recovery is stunningly slow. Months and years rather than days and weeks.

mum will not be the same as pre stroke. Probably small differences but maybe major changes, perhaps for the better.

The stroke association leaflets are excellent. Do get them and read them. Or read them online.

best wishes


Thank you Colin, your insight into what is happening with Mum is really helpful. 
unfortunately we are only allowed one video call per day and as there are 3 of us we have been doing it together, I now feel this is too much for Mum to process so we are going to try 1 of us per day. 
We are 3 weeks today so hope she continues to improve, thank you once again


Sensible to have a rota for video calls.

it does seem that one month is a good time to reckon medically the worst is over

gosh, your family are going to recall 2020 with poor memories. Maybe 2021 will, by the end, be a whole lot better


Hi Meg, 

How is your mum doing  x