There are few things scarier than watching a loved one experience a health emergency. And with someone in the United States having a stroke every 40 seconds, strokes post a major threat to our elder loved one’s health and safety.
From stroke prevention to awareness, here’s how you can keep your older loved ones safe at home this season.
What is a Stroke?
An ischemic stroke, which makes up 85 percent of all strokes in the United States, occurs when a vessel in the brain ruptures or is blocked by a blood clot. This prevents your brain’s tissue from getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs. If certain parts of your brain are without oxygen for even just a few minutes, brain cells can begin to die.
Stroke Fast Facts
- In 2018, 1 in every 6 deaths from cardiovascular disease was due to stroke.
- Every year, nearly 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first-time strokes.
- Roughly 1 in 4 strokes (about 185,000) are in people who have previously had a stroke.
- Strokes are one of the leading causes of serious long-term disability.
- A stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over.
- Though strokes can occur at every age, your risk increases with age.
- In 2009, 67% of people hospitalized for a stroke were older than 65.
The Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke
Know how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T.
- Face drooping. Does one side of your loved one’s face suddenly droop or feel numb? If so, ask them to smile. If their smile is uneven, they may be having a stroke.
- Arm weakness. Arm weakness or pain is a sign of several types of serious ailments, including strokes, so it should never be ignored. Signs of a stroke also include arm numbness or not being able to move it.
- Speech. If your loved one suddenly has difficulty speaking or slurred speech, they could be experiencing a stroke.
- Time to call 911. If you notice even one of the above signs, it’s time to call 911 and get your loved one to a hospital right away. .
Additional signs and symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness, confusion, difficulty seeing, trouble walking, and a severe headache.
Why It’s Important to Seek Help for a Stroke Immediately
If administered within three hours of their first symptoms, treatment for a stroke (which is typically administering Alteplase IV r-tPA) can significantly improve a person’s chances of recovering. One study found that patients who received treatment immediately had fewer disabilities or limitations three months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.
Reducing Your Loved One’s Risk of a Stroke
While no disease, illness, or ailment is completely preventable, making smart lifestyle choices is the best way to reduce your chances of a stroke no matter how old you are.
Lower your risk of a stroke by:
- Eating a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI.
- Being physically active each day.
- Not smoking or quitting if you currently do.
- Drinking alcohol rarely or not at all.
At Homewatch CareGivers, we were founded on the idea that individuals should receive kind, compassionate, and qualified care tailored to their unique needs and in their preferred surroundings. Because of that, we train our professionals not just on high-quality care but on interpersonal relationships as well.
Contact us today to learn more.