Senior Stroke Warning Signs & Prevention
In the United States, strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and can leave survivors with several disabilities and challenges on the road to recover. The chance of stroke becomes higher as we age. It’s critical to learn stroke warning signs as well as preventative measures to protect yourself or your loved ones.
What Is A Stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts or becomes blocked by a clot, resulting in blood being unable to flow to the brain and deliver oxygen.
Without oxygen, the cells in the brain begin dying, which is why it’s vital to get medical help as fast as possible.
Several circumstances can increase the likelihood of a stroke, including age, gender, and race. Knowing the risk factors for stroke will help you prepare better in the event of an emergency.
According to the American Stroke Association, the chances of a stroke for those after 55 doubles every decade.
Strokes are more likely to occur in women, who are also more likely to die from them than men. Additionally, African Americans have a higher chance of suffering a stroke than Caucasians.
Other factors also play a role in the probability of having a stroke, but fortunately, they are manageable.
Smoking, an unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity are all things that can increase the chance of stroke.
Taking special care to monitor these things can go a long way to decrease someone’s risk. If your loved one has multiple risk factors, consider discussing any necessary changes to keep them safe and healthy.
Senior Stroke Prevention
There are many ways for seniors to lower their chance of stroke. Eating a balanced and healthy diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping well can go a long way.
Consider eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like seafood, or following the Meditteranean diet.
And of course, eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting out processed foods and sweets is another excellent way to manage weight while lowering the likelihood of stroke.
It’s understandable that as we age, mobility can become more of a challenge. However, it’s still essential that seniors get a minimum of half an hour of exercise every day.
A sedentary lifestyle can raise the risk of stroke-causing blood clots, so older adults need to stay active.
It can be low-impact activities such as walking or water aerobics, or even housework. There are also several indoor exercises for seniors to keep their blood pressure low.
In our article about the importance of sleep for seniors, we discussed that older adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to maintain both health and well-being.
This amount is the perfect amount of time for the body to rest and heal itself. According to a recent Harvard study, anything longer than 9 hours can raise the likelihood of stroke up to 63%.
Additionally, staying in bed for too long contributes to a sedentary lifestyle and affects cardiovascular health, diabetes, and other problems.
Stroke Warning Signs In Seniors
A good rule of thumb for learning the significant stroke warning signs is remembering FAST.
- F – Face drooping, in which one side of the face may become numb or droop.
- A – Arm weakness, where someone may be unable to lift or hold their arm in the air when asked to raise them above their head.
- S – Speech difficulty, when speech becomes slurred and the person can’t repeat what is said to them.
- T – Time to call 911. Even one of these symptoms is enough to warrant calling emergency medical services. When a stroke happens, every second counts.
Be aware of the other stroke warning signs. These generally happen very suddenly and may almost appear out of the blue.
- Numbness of the body, especially one side
- Confusion, especially regarding speaking or comprehending speech
- Vision and eyesight troubles
- Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
- An abrupt and severe headaches
Transient Ischemic Attacks
Also referred to as TIAs, transient ischemic attacks are a series of mini-strokes usually occurring before a major stroke.
Although the term mini-stroke may not sound as intimidating, they are often considered to be warning strokes–40% of those who have TIAs also end up having a stroke.
The symptoms of TIAs are similar to those of regular strokes, but they diminish over time. It’s vital to call for medical assistance if TIAs happen.
What To Do In The Event Of A Stroke
If you believe a loved one is having a stroke, immediately call 911. Try to remember when the first stroke warning signs started. The dispatcher will give instructions for you in the meantime until help arrives.
Getting the right treatment as soon as possible isn’t just the difference between life and death. It can also reduce the debilitating, long-term effects caused by the stroke.
Learning early stroke warning signs is essential to keeping at-risk seniors safe and protect them from brain damage, other disabilities, and of course, death.
Let MeetCaregivers Help
If you or a loved one is in need of extra assistance, consider reaching out to MeetCaregivers for help. Our qualified professionals can help with day-to-day routines, mobility, and more.
Call us at (888) 541-1136 or for general inquiries, message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can make a difference.
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