Almost 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They also cite that 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, which means blood flow to the brain is blocked. The CDC and Home Care Assistance of Warren both recognize the importance of early detection of symptoms due to the fact that those who arrive in the emergency room within 3 hours of their first stroke symptom are less likely to exhibit severe disabilities 3 months after their stroke.
In an effort to help you detect stroke symptoms as early as possible, potentially saving an aging loved one’s life, Warren Home Care Assistance has put together this Stroke Guide.
How To Prevent Strokes
The good news is that seeing a healthcare professional regularly can prevent strokes approximately 80% of the time. Smoking, excessive weight, and alcohol are all obvious risks. Physicians will advise seniors on how to lower their stroke risk, possibly checking for diabetes, circulation problems, abnormal heartbeat, or blood pressure issues. Once problems are discovered and treated, the chance of a stroke drops significantly.
Stroke Warning Signs
The acronym that helps with stroke identification is F.A.S.T. It stands for face, arms, speech, and time. Symptoms corresponding with F.A.S.T indicate that you need to call 9-1-1 immediately. Here is what F.A.S.T. stands for:
- FACE: One side of the stroke patient’s face may droop. Ask them to try to smile, which can make drooping more obvious.
- ARMS: Stroke patients may have trouble with one arm. Ask the person to try to raise both of their arms. One arm may resist being raised or drift downward when raised. Check whether the person has proper use of their legs as well. Confusion when asked to move an arm or leg also can indicate a stroke.
- SPEECH: Listen to the person’s speech. Ask them to repeat a simple sentence or tell you their address. Slurring, hesitation, or strange speech indicates a problem.
- TIME: Time is absolutely critical. There are more treatments available and typically better outcomes for those who receive treatment the quickest. Minutes make a difference.
What To Do When a Stroke Happens
If a stroke is suspected, immediately call 9-1-1. Tell treating physicians the time when the stroke was noticed. Treatment options may change depending upon the amount of time that has passed. Be ready to possibly answer questions on behalf of the patient. Hospitals will ask about medications taken by the patient and existing health issues.
Importance of Post-Stroke Care
The best possible outcome is that your aging loved one is able to recover in a mere matter of weeks. However, in other cases, recovery may take an indefinite amount of time, patience and in-home post stroke care. After any stroke, it is likely that physical, speech, or occupational therapy may be needed. Your aging loved one will experience a time of increased dependency, often needing help transitioning back to daily living. In-home stroke caregivers may be needed for weeks, months, or on an ongoing basis.
In-Home Stroke Care
Caregivers, friends, and relatives helping in the aftermath of a stroke can make a major impact. If your aging parent or loved one is in need of an expertly trained post stroke caregiver, call Home Care Assistance today at 908.450.9400. We have hourly and 24/7 senior caregivers available for last-minute emergency situations and for long-term stroke rehabilitation assistance. Call at any hour of the day or night to talk to one of our knowledgeable and friendly Care Managers.