May 10, 2018 by Linnea Frericks
When the blood supply to the brain is cut off this creates a stroke. In America, a senior has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every 4 minutes a stroke turns fatal. The risk of stroke increases each year a person is alive with 3 out of 4 strokes occurring in seniors over 65 years of age. Seniors with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or who smoke have increased stroke risks.
Because the time between the onset of a stroke and the time a senior receives emergency medical care is so important, Comfort Keepers home healthcare strongly urges all seniors and their families to learn about the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most common sign of a stroke is sudden paralysis or numbness on one side of the body. In fact, one study found that 93 percent of seniors who had a stroke and were able to report their experiences remember having sudden numbness.
The next most obvious sign of a stoke is the sudden slurring of words or inability to communicate effectively. There may also be sudden confusion and a difficulty with understanding.
Severe headaches with dizziness, a loss of balance, or vomiting are also common indicators of a stroke, especially is they are accompanied by any of the other signs or symptoms.
Seniors may also have trouble walking, balancing, or moving their legs. This often goes along with the sign of sudden paralysis or numbness on one side of the body.
Comfort Keepers home healthcare providers use the FAST test if they think a senior may be experiencing a stroke. Seniors and their loved ones should become familiar with this life-saving acronym:
F – Face
A – Arms
S – Speech
T – Time
Ask the senior to smile and check for symmetry. Does one side of their face droop? Have the senior raise both arms above their head. Does one arm remain down or drift down? Can the senior respond to or answer a simple question without slurring their words? If the answer to any of these questions causes concern or alarm, then it is time to call 911 and get emergency medical help.
To learn more about stroke awareness or any of Comfort Keeper home healthcare services, contact a senior home care coordinator. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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