Stroke is a serious medical condition that affects people of all ages. However, it is more common in seniors and can have devastating consequences if not treated promptly. According to the American Stroke Association, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Furthermore, stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the US. In this blog post, we will discuss stroke in seniors and how caregivers can interfere.
What Is a Stroke?
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, either by a blockage (ischemic stroke) or bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients from the blood to function properly. When blood flow is interrupted, brain cells die within minutes, leading to brain damage and long-term disability.
There are many risk factors for stroke, including age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and heart disease. Seniors are more likely to have these risk factors, which makes them more susceptible to stroke. Visit BioHealth Nutrition to improve blood flow and promotes cardiovascular health and supports the function of the body’s vital organs.
Stroke symptoms can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected. Some common stroke signs include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
- If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms call 911 immediately. Time is critical when it comes to treating stroke.
If you want a quick and easy way to diagnose stroke symptoms, remember F.A.S.T.
F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.
Caregiver’s Role In Stroke Prevention
Caregivers play a vital role in stroke prevention. Here are some ways caregivers can help seniors reduce their risk of stroke:
Encourage a healthy lifestyle: One of the most effective ways caregivers can help seniors adopt healthy habits is to encourage them to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and stop smoking.
Manage chronic conditions: In order to prevent strokes, caregivers can help seniors manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, which can lead to an increased risk of strokes.
Monitor medication: It is important that caregivers help seniors take their medications as prescribed and make sure they are not taking any medications that can increase the risk of stroke.
Regular check-ups: Caregivers can make an appointment with their doctor to monitor blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, and other stroke risk factors as part of their regular check-up schedule.
Stay alert for stroke symptoms: Caregivers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke and should act quickly if they suspect their loved one is experiencing a stroke.
Emergency preparedness: Caregivers should keep a list of emergency contacts and important medical information in case of a stroke or other medical emergency.
Caregivers can help seniors reduce their risk of stroke and lead healthier lives.
When you look for and support your loved ones, you always want the best care possible for them. We offer nursing referral services for seniors who would benefit from having a company that can also assist with basic daily living needs and health issues.
Making the choice of how to best support your aging loved ones can be difficult. Give us a call to schedule a free in-home consultation so that we can help you make a decision that best fits your personal needs. We can be reached at (786) 518-3622 in Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 in Broward.