If your senior loved one is having a stroke, it’s imperative to act fast. To do so, you need to be able to recognize the signs of strokes and contact the appropriate emergency services. Here are a few important things you need to know about strokes.
What Is a Stroke?
Strokes are caused when one of these blood vessels that lead to the brain bursts, ruptures, or becomes blocked. As a result, the brain doesn’t receive the nutrients and oxygen it needs to function, which can lead to the death of brain cells. Depending on the extent of the cellular damage, strokes can lead to memory loss, speech impairment, or paralysis. To prevent extensive damage, seniors need immediate medical attention.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Fort Worth, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
The FAST Method
The FAST method helps caregivers recognize strokes quickly. FAST stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time to call emergency services. If your loved one is displaying signs of a stroke, stay calm and go through each step of the FAST method. First, ask your loved one to smile. If one side of the face is drooping or numb, he or she may be having a stroke. Second, ask your loved one to raise his or her arms. If he or she can lift one arm more easily than the other, consider it a definite warning sign. Third, ask your loved one to say something simple such as the date, or to repeat the phrase “The grass is green.” If your loved one is having a stroke, he or she may slur or have difficulty verbalizing.
If your loved one displays one or all of these common symptoms, call emergency services. The emergency responders will likely want to know when the symptoms first appeared. While you may be anxious, try to keep track of your loved one’s symptoms.
Other Stroke Symptoms
The FAST method gives caregivers a handy tool for recognizing most strokes. However, sometimes seniors don’t exhibit the common symptoms. Severe headaches are an additional sign. Strokes can also cause general disorientation, ranging from poor coordination to loss of balance. When seniors have strokes, they may experience impaired vision or difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes. While speech difficulties usually manifest as slurring or stumbling over words, strokes can also affect the ability to understand conversations. If your loved one is unable to parse simple sentences or answer basic questions, a stroke may be to blame.
Strokes can make it difficult for aging adults to manage daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Fort Worth seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Transient Ischemic Attacks
Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are basically mini-strokes. They occur when a blood vessel is temporarily blocked by a clot, which then resolves itself naturally. TIAs don’t leave lasting damage, but they should be treated as a warning sign. They are often precursors to actual strokes, and seniors who exhibit the signs of TIAs should be given medical care.
Caring for older adults with serious health issues can be a challenging task. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Fort Worth elderly care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a customized in-home care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call at (817) 720-5556 today.