May 10, 2018 by Comfort Keepers
In the United States, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. Seventy-five percent of strokes occur in seniors over the age of 65 and the risk of having a stroke increase with each year of age. Not all strokes are fatal, but they often result in long-term disability and a significantly decreased quality of life. A senior's ability to recover from a stroke is dependent upon many factors, and one of the most important is the speed at which emergency medical assistance is obtained.
Comfort Keepers 24 hour home care encourages all seniors and their loved ones to know and understand the signs and symptoms of a stroke. This is especially important if a senior is at high risk. The greatest risk factors for a stroke are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and diabetes. Seniors with two or more of these are at an even higher risk and should see a physician about control their risk factors.
The most common sign of a stroke is sudden paralysis on one side of the body. This often occurs in an arm or leg, but many seniors also experience it in the face.
Next to sudden numbness or paralysis, the most common sign of a stoke is a sudden slurring of speech or inability to clearly communicate. Seniors may also experience a sudden loss of comprehension and become confused.
Strokes can also impact the eyes. Seniors may find their vision blurred or even blacked out. Some seniors report seeing double.
An extremely severe headache that may lead to vomiting may be a sign of a stroke. Especially if it is accompanied by a loss of balance or any of the other signs of symptoms.
Comfort Keepers 24 hour home care staff are well-versed in stroke identification and care. If a caregiver suspects that a senior may be experiencing a stroke, they go through a protocol called FAST.
The FAST protocol is quite simple:
Face – does the face droop? Ask the senior to smile and see if both sides of the face are symmetrical.
Arms – can the senior lift and hold both arms above the head or does one remain down or drift down?
Speech – ask the senior to answer or repeat a simple sentence. Do they struggle with this or slur their words?
Time – If the answer to any of these questions causes concern, it is time to call 911 and get emergency medical assistance.
If you need more information about stroke identification or care, Comfort Keepers 24 hour home care is the right place to start. A Comfort Keepers senior home care coordinator will be happy to take your call and answer any questions you may have.
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