If you are a family caregiver for your elderly loved one, it would be a good idea to learn about strokes, as these are one of the most common health issues to affect senior citizens. Strokes are a dangerous, sometimes fatal medical condition that cut off blood supply to the person’s brain. Two of the main reasons why this happens are blood clots and heart conditions. Every stroke is different, but they all share one common denominator – they are all medical emergencies. So, you must act FAST.
Act FAST with a Stroke
If you suspect your elderly loved one is having a stroke, it is crucial that you act FAST. This is the best way to help them get immediate medical attention. An elder care provider can do keep an eye out for these symptoms when you can’t be there. FAST stands for face, arms, speech, and time.
Is their face drooping on one side? Are they able to hold a smile? If it is droopy and they can’t hold a smile, get them to the emergency room immediately.
Can they lift both of their arms? If one arm is dropping down when trying to do this, they are likely having a stroke.
Can your elderly loved one speak clearly or do they struggle to form words? Are they slurring their words? Do they not understand what you are saying? If these things are issues, they may be having a stroke.
Time is the last factor and one of the most important. If your elderly loved one is having these issues above, get them immediate medical attention whether that is calling 9-1-1 or taking them to the emergency room yourself.
A Surprising Fact About Stroke
Did you think that strokes can only happen to adults who are well older than you? In fact, studies show that 1 in every 4 strokes happens in people who are 55 and under. So, no matter how young or old your elderly loved one is, don’t underestimate or ignore the symptoms above if they happen. They could still be having a stroke. If your elderly loved one did have a stroke and survived, they may need help from you and elder care providers.
Tips to Prevent a Stroke
There are many tips that can help to prevent a stroke, as well. Some of the best tips include:
- Eating a healthy diet low in sugar, fat, and salt
- Be more physically active daily
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Lower high blood pressure
- Lower high cholesterol
- Control blood sugar levels
If your elderly loved one does these things, it can significantly lower their risk of having a stroke.
Now that you know more about strokes, you can be prepared if your elderly loved one has any of the symptoms noted above. You can also encourage them to make healthy lifestyle changes to try to prevent a stroke in the first place, as well. Elder care can also play a vital role in monitoring your senior for a stroke.