Among Americans, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death, as well as a significant factor in adult disability. In addition, the risk for stroke increases with age. Since May is American Stroke Month, we would like to present some information about stroke and seniors, including ways to prevent it and recognizing the signs.

Understanding Stroke Risk in the Elderly During American Stroke Month | Family Tree In-Home Care 1
A female physical therapist helps a senior man walk following a stroke. The man is using parallel bars in a rehab center.

Signs of Stroke

A stroke results when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. When this happens, the brain does not get the proper blood, causing oxygen and brain cells to begin to die. Thus, someone experiencing a stroke must get medical attention immediately as early intervention can reduce brain damage and other complications. Here are some symptoms to help you identify when someone (including yourself) may be having a stroke.

  • Trouble speaking or understanding others
  • Paralysis or numbness in the arms, face, or leg
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Sudden headache
  • Trouble walking

If you notice any of these signs suddenly appearing, contact 911 at once. A tool that may help you to remember is The American Stroke Association’s use of the acronym F.A.S.T.

F – Face drooping

– Arm weakness

S – Speech difficulty

T – Time to call 911

Stroke Prevention in Seniors

As was mentioned, stroke risk increases with age. But having a stroke does not have to be an inevitable part of aging. There are measures the elderly can take to help prevent the incidence of stroke.

  • Control high blood pressure
  • Manage diabetes
  • Get exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Take appropriate drug therapy for atrial fibrillation
  • Resolve high cholesterol issues
  • Stop smoking

Stroke Recovery

Recovering from a stroke is different for each person. If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, you may question your ability to care for yourself or manage day-to-day tasks. As the journey from rehabilitation in the hospital to home care begins, Family Tree In-Home Care can help to ease the transition. Through the many caregiving services carried out by our dedicated staff, such as personal care, meal preparation, and nursing services, we will provide a level of care that is specific to your needs or those of your loved one. Contact us for more information and to inquire about how we can help you.