Senior’s Application, Stroke – Jim’s Story

Family of Senior Blog

Jim discharged home from Valley View Nursing Facility where he received skilled Rehab, including Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy two months for stroke recovery. When he initially arrived, he refused to get out of bed, even for meals. In therapy, they discovered he could still play Checkers in standing with the magnetic vertical checkerboard and adaptive Large magnetic Checkers. His poor appetite gradually increased in food and drink, with the diet and liquid texture changed several times by Speech, but he needed encouragement. Speech Therapy had moderate success in language skills through his following his home exercise program with the family and in playing the “Go Fish”, a card game with which he was familiar with.

      Home health PT and OT wrote Home exercise programs, for him to continue playing the Checker game while in standing adding instructions to use a “gait belt” to assist him. His right hand fine motor skills consistently improved enabling him to use the smaller “magnetic antique wood checkers”. Jim was motivated, as he could see his improvements he was making in standing, walking and endurance per the PT and OT balance and fall risk assessments. The joy of victory was evident on his face when he beat Matt, his 10-year-old grandson! He enjoyed playing the “GO Fish” game with his grandkids at the dining room table, an integral activity included as part of the Speech Therapist’s home exercise program. Oh and yes, appropriate snacks were a part of the social entertainment!

      Familiar songs had been exceptionally so successful in promoting singing and facilitating talking, addressing some of the effects of the stroke. The family surprised Jim with an Apple iPod Nano with all his favorite songs! They had also considered the iPod touch, as it will be the only “iPod” Apple option soon.

       The family was thrilled they to have “Jim back”! But the biggest smile of all came from Jim when Matt, his Checker’s champ grandson welcomed him home and ushered him into the dining room, where a warm slice of cinnamon apple pie awaited him on the dinner table. Of course, hugs commenced, but only after he finished his plate. He was smiling, motivated to get out of bed and giving hugs to his grandkids again!