Denver Home Care Blog

How to Recognize the Signs of a Stroke

Recognizing when a senior loved one is having a stroke helps family caregivers in Wheat Ridge, CO take action to preserve their loved one’s well-being

Are you familiar with the signs and symptoms of a stroke? If you are a family caregiver for a senior loved one in Wheat Ridge, CO, it’s very important that you are able to recognize any changes in Mom or Dad’s health and well-being.

There is a simple technique to help you with that. It is called FAST – a mnemonic created in 1998 in the United Kingdom as a way to quickly determine whether a patient is having a stroke.

FAST stands for:

  • F is for Face Drooping – You need to assess whether one side of your loved one’s face is numb or saggy. If you are concerned, ask them to smile for you. Try to notice signs of facial weakness such as an uneven smile or a drooping face.
  • A is for Arm Weakness – Seniors experiencing a stroke are often unable to raise their arms evenly, so if your loved one raises their arms and one drifts downward – it may be a sign of a stroke.
  • S is for Speech Difficulty – One of the most common signs of a stroke is slurred speech. For those seniors experiencing a stroke, it can be difficult to finish simple sentences or even distinctly pronounce words.  
  • T is for Time  – When a stroke occurs, timing is of the essence. If you identify any of these symptoms, it’s time to call for an ambulance immediately. Even if the symptoms in your loved one appear and then seem to go away, it doesn’t mean they are ok, so you still need to call 911.

According to The American Stroke Association, some additional symptoms of a stroke include:

  • A sudden, numbing sensation in the leg, arm or facial area
  • Sudden problems with vision in one or both eyes
  • Tripping, stumbling or having other difficulties with balance or gait
  • Trouble with comprehension or confusion
  • Sudden, intense headache

You might want to encourage your loved one to practice healthy lifestyle habits as much as they can. Staying physically active, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and regularly checking blood pressure levels can significantly lower the risk of developing a stroke.

As many independent seniors often struggle with medication management or getting around, consider hiring a professional caregiver from Visiting Angels of Denver to provide assistance that can make your loved one’s life safer and easier and also give you an opportunity to rest.

A professional caregiver can visit Mom or Dad at their home, provide friendly companionship, and help them with meal preparation, housekeeping, medication, and other daily routines.

“Our senior home care professionals provide assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Our compassionate caregivers make it possible for many seniors to continue living at home and for them to remain healthy,” explains Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels.

With the FAST technique, you will be able to identify the signs of a stroke and react swiftly - and this can make a huge difference in your loved one’s long-term health and well-being.

Visiting Angels of Denver is a leading provider of non-medical senior support services. To learn more about the in-home care provided by our staff of compassionate caregivers, please call our Wheat Ridge office at (303) 232-9999 or contact us for more information.

Visiting Angels proudly serves Arvada, Aurora, Denver, Glendale, Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.