Understanding the Signs of a Stroke
Are you familiar with the signs of a stroke? If you are a family caregiver, it’s important to be on the lookout for changes in your loved one’s health and well-being. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke can make a significant difference in your loved one’s long term health.
You may have heard of FAST. FAST was developed in the United Kingdom in 1998 as a way to quickly assess whether a patient may be having a stroke. It’s a mnemonic device that makes it easier to remember the warning signs. Here’s what you need to know:
F – Face Drooping – Is one side of the face numb or drooping? If you are concerned, ask your loved one to smile. If their smile is uneven, seek medical attention.
A – Arm Weakness – Weakness or numbing in one arm can be an indicator of a stroke. If your loved one raises their arms and one drifts downward, this is a warning sign.
S – Speech Difficulty – Slurred speech is one of the more common warning signs of a stroke. It can be difficult for those experiencing a stroke to say even simple sentences accurately and completely.
T – Time to Call 911 – If you have identified any one of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. Note the time the symptoms started and if they have since gone away. The appearance and then disappearance of symptoms doesn’t mean your loved one is ok. You should still seek medical attention even if symptoms disappear.
The America Stroke Association has released some additional symptoms you should also be aware of. These symptoms include:
- Sudden numbing or weakness in the leg, arm or face
- Confusion or trouble with comprehension
- Sudden trouble with vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden problems with balance, coordination, walking or dizziness
- A sudden and severe headache
Seniors can lower their risk of stroke by managing their blood pressure, staying active and eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Many seniors have trouble managing medications or getting around. The assistance of a senior home care provider makes healthy living easier. Senior home care providers can visit your loved one at home to ensure they are taking medications properly. They can also assist with meal planning and preparation so your loved one isn’t tempted to skip meals.
“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.
Being able to identify the signs of a stroke can make a significant difference in your loved one’s long term health and well-being. If you are concerned your loved may have had a stroke, contact a medical professional immediately.