Identifying the Most Common Signs of a Stroke in Seniors
With proper in-home elder care, you can quickly identify when a loved one is having a stroke and get them the care they need in McKinney, Plano, Frisco, Allen and surrounding communities in Texas
Would you be able to identify the signs of a stroke? As a family elder care provider, you surely know how important it is to closely monitor your loved one’s well-being and look for any changes in their health.
If you’re not already familiar with it, we’d like to introduce you to FAST. It is a mnemonic developed in the United Kingdom in the late ’90s as a quick, reliable way to assess whether a patient is having a stoke. FAST is an acronym consisting of the first letters of the four most important actions you need to take if you suspect your loved one is having a stroke – and it is very easy to remember.
Here’s what you need to know:
- F – Face Drooping: Inspect whether one side of your loved one’s face is numb or seems to be drooping. If you have a reason to be concerned, ask them to smile. When a facial expression appears to be uneven, it is a clear sign that something is wrong.
- A – Arm Weakness: This is one of the major warning signs. If your loved one is unable to raise their arms evenly and one of their arms is drifting downwards – they are most likely having a stroke.
- S – Speech Difficulty: Those having a stroke have a hard time saying simple sentences or even words accurately. Look for signs of slurred, unintelligible speech.
- T – Time to Call the Ambulance: Should you spot any of these warning signs, call 911 immediately. Remember when the symptoms started and monitor if they seem to be going away. The disappearance of symptoms doesn’t mean your loved one is ok, so seek medical attention even if the signs go away. Better to be safe than sorry.
The American Stroke Association has released some additional symptoms both professional and family elder care providers should also be aware of. The symptoms include:
- Sudden weakness or numbing in one side of the body, usually in the leg, arm or face
- Sudden trouble with vision, such as blurred, dimmed or double eyesight
- Dizziness or problems with balance and coordination
- Sudden, intense headache
Prevention is the key to avoiding a stroke – your loved one can significantly lower the risk of a stroke if they check their blood pressure regularly, engage in a low-impact exercise regimen, and enjoy a healthy, nutritious diet. So, as a family elder care provider, make sure to encourage and educate Mom or Dad about the importance of leading a more healthy lifestyle.
If you don’t have enough time on your hands to visit Mom or Dad regularly, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide company and cater for them – someone who can assist your loved one, prepare meals, and make sure they feel well when you’re not there.
“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 professional elder care agency Visiting Angels.
We hope you consider these guidelines helpful. You need to be prepared for these kinds of situations – knowing the signs of a stroke can be a lifesaver and make a major difference in your loved one’s long-term health and well-being.
To learn more about our non-medical elder care services for seniors in McKinney, Plano, Frisco, Allen and surrounding Texas communities who have suffered a stroke, contact Visiting Angels of McKinney today!