Silent Strokes: The Essential Facts

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The Essential Facts about Silent Strokes in Tampa Bay, FL

A stroke can be a truly dangerous medical condition, but sometimes a stroke is so minor a senior doesn’t even realize he or she is having one. This is called a silent stroke, and they’re surprisingly common. Roughly 10 percent of all people have had one or more silent strokes. The idea of a silent stroke may sound scary, but educating yourself about them can help you and your aging loved one prevent dangerous complications.

What Is a Silent Stroke?

Silent strokes happen when blood clots temporarily block blood flow to a small portion of the brain before moving on. A silent stroke is simply a stroke without any obvious symptoms. Typical strokes are accompanied by hallmark symptoms such as a drooping face, sudden muscle weakness, and the inability to speak. With a silent stroke, the person may not notice any difference and go about his or her normal activities without any sign of impairment. 

The Dangers of Silent Strokes

Since seniors don’t have obvious symptoms at first, silent strokes might seem harmless. However, the reality is they still affect the brain. One or more silent strokes can gradually damage the brain, causing issues like memory loss. Another problem is that a silent stroke is a warning sign indicating a clotting issue that can lead to a more serious stroke in the near future.

Aging adults who’ve had strokes often need assistance with everyday tasks. Elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

How to Spot a Silent Stroke

Because a silent stroke is almost asymptomatic, it’s difficult to determine when someone is having one. Often, the symptoms only show up afterward. Seniors may notice a slight change in memory, such as constantly forgetting specific words. They may also experience slight changes in balance, coordination, or mood. When the individual who has had a silent stroke undergoes an imaging test, areas of brain damage will appear as small white spots.

Silent Stroke Treatment Options

After a silent stroke, there’s no automatic treatment that can restore all function. Instead, the main treatment is simply time. Because such a small area is damaged, the brain will typically find ways to compensate. It’s also important to take steps to prevent the risk of a more serious stroke.

The effects of strokes can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without help from caregivers. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Clearwater, Florida, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

How to Prevent Silent Strokes

For both silent strokes and traditional strokes, prevention is very important. Taking the right preventative steps can lower a person’s risk by over 80 percent. Stroke prevention relies on lifestyle changes to boost overall health. The goal is typically to achieve healthier cholesterol and blood pressure levels while reducing clot risks. Seniors are encouraged to stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and they may need to reduce their sodium intake. More exercise and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and plant-based fats also helps. In some cases, a doctor may recommend medication to further reduce stroke risk.

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service. Clearwater Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To learn about our premier in-home care plans and how they can help your loved one, give us a call at (727) 330-7862 today. 

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