With age, one’s risk for stroke increases. While there are numerous lifestyle changes that can help to minimize stroke risk, it is important for family caregivers to know the warning signs of a stroke so they can ensure the health and safety of the loved one under their care.
Getting immediate medical attention after stroke symptoms are recognized can significantly reduce its physical and cognitive side-effects. When the appropriate medical assistance is attained within the first three hours of the start of stroke symptoms, a drug can be administered that helps break up blood clots, limiting the impact the stroke can have on the body. For this reason, becoming familiar with the most common warning signs of a stroke can give your aging loved one the best chance at a positive outcome if stroke symptoms are to arise.
Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home stroke care in Tampa Bay, offers five of the most common warning signs that a stroke may be taking place:
- Weakness Or Numbness In The Arm, Leg Or Face – Feelings of weakness or numbness on one side of the body, particularly in the face, arm or leg, is a common sign of stroke. If your loved one’s eye or mouth appears to droop or looks uneven, ask your loved one to smile so you can gauge the extent of the problem. You can also ask your loved one to raise both of his or her arms together. If one arm lifts more slowly than the other or begins to drift downwards, contact your doctor immediately.
- Difficulty Speaking – Speech will often become difficult for those who are in danger of having a stroke. In fact, language troubles are the most common warning sign among stroke victims. This is typically characterized by slurring or problems with enunciation. You can ask your aging family member to repeat simple sentences back to you as a form of assessment.
- Vision Trouble – While declining vision could be part of the normal aging process, sudden difficulty in making out nearby objects or focusing is problematic. Stroke victims often say that they are unable to focus with one or both eyes and some say they have a hard time looking to the side. Double vision is also cause for concern.
- Sudden Loss of Coordination – Loss of fine motor coordination could be a sign of stroke. The inability to use writing or eating utensils and the inability to walk normally, should be reported to medical personnel. People who are in danger of experiencing a stroke may lose their balance, walk as if they are intoxicated or begin walking with the legs spread far apart.
- Signs Of Red Stroke – A red stroke is caused by intercranial hemorrhage and it is the most dangerous of all stroke types. This is often characterized by a sharp, sudden and severe headache, facial pain, stiffness in the neck and nausea or vomiting. These symptoms must be reported to emergency medical services right away.
To find out more about caring for an aging parent or loved one, visit www.homecareassistancetampabay.com or contact a Home Care Assistance Care Manager at 727-330-7862. We are a leading provider of in-home care and can answer any questions you may have regarding senior safety, health and wellness, home health care and much more. We look forward to hearing from you!