Janet, 78, Dorset
Janet experienced a stroke during the night in January 2015 and luckily her daughter Mary, who lived 90 miles away, happened to be staying with her.
When Janet didn’t get up as usual, Mary assumed she was having a lie-in until she passed her room and heard her calling.
Janet was rushed to hospital and a brain scan confirmed that she’s had a stroke.
Initially, Janet could move her legs and only her left arm and hand were paralysed, but quite quickly her left leg also became weak.
Janet spent six weeks on a stroke ward and was moved temporarily into a care home whilst Mary and her husband relocated to Janet’s house and prepared for her mother’s return home.
The NHS provided Janet with a bed, air mattress, commode on wheels and a hoist.
However, Mary feels that there was very little follow up and support after Janet had left hospital and she was left to organize most things.
Mary wasn’t given any guidance or advice about which wheelchair to purchase for her mother and feels that if she had, she’d have made a better choice.
Janet receives three sessions of physiotherapy each week – one of which is paid for by the NHS.
Her upper body is getting stronger, she has good sitting balance and some movement in her affected arm and fingers.
Recently she has been using standing supports.
Since the stroke Janet is able to articulate herself fully, but she can sometimes get muddled and isn’t quite aware of things as she used to be.
Her sight and hearing are also slightly impaired, but she’s able to feed herself, clean her teeth, brush her hair and write.
Her speech is slightly less clear and her voice is coarser.
Mary feels that her mother is getting better each day, which makes it difficult to judge whether to purchase independent living aids, in case they’ll only be used temporarily.