When you care for an older loved one, it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of a stroke. Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the risk of having one increases with age. Strokes can lead to disabilities that leave Senior Citizens in need of long-term care. A stroke is a severe medical emergency, so if you notice the signs call 9-1-1 right away.
What is a pre-stroke?
Pre-stroke, called Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), is like a mini-stroke that temporarily blocks blood flow to the brain. TIA is temporary and usually resolves on its own. However, it is a pre-stroke warning sign, so seek medical attention to hopefully prevent a full-blown stroke.
Signs of a Stroke
Knowing the warning signs could be the difference between life and death for a Senior Citizen. Strokes strike fast. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or a loved one experiences sudden symptoms.
- Numbness in the face, arms, or legs—usually located on one side of the body.
- Confusion, drowsiness, or trouble speaking
- Trouble seeing or double vision
- Dizziness, loss of balance, or difficulty walking
- Severe headache
- Nausea or vomiting
The American Stroke Association developed an acronym to help us remember the signs of a stroke. So when someone you love is having a stroke, you need to think FAST.
- F – Face Drooping
- A – Arm Weakness
- S – Slurred Speech
- T – Time to call 9-1-1
Risk Factors for Stroke
Certain people are at a greater risk of stroke than others. While strokes could happen to anyone at any age, they are more likely for someone with these risk factors.
- Age — While strokes can occur at any age, the chances increase with age. Starting at age 55, the risk of stroke doubles each decade.
- Gender— Men have a higher risk of having a stroke. However, strokes are more deadly in women.
- Race— Strokes are more common and deadly for African Americans.
- Family History— Inherited factors such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes contribute to the risk of a stroke.
- Smoking — Cigarette smoking doubles the risk of stroke due to buildup in the carotid artery, increased blood pressure from nicotine, and reduced oxygen levels.
Caring for Loved Ones
If your Senior loved one has experienced a stroke, they will need rehabilitation and personalized care. A Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide can help keep your Senior loved one in their own home.
At Anita’s Angels, Inc., we are here for you every step of the way. We are Families Helping Families. If your loved one has experienced a stroke or is at high risk for a stroke, call us at 908-788-9390 to learn how our family can help yours.