Almost 75 percent of strokes occur in people over 65, and the risk increases by more than double every 10 years after a person turns 55. Seniors can have strokes without much warning, but there are a few signs to watch for and important steps to take right away.
Look for the Major Warning Signs
Although a stroke may develop gradually, in most cases the symptoms are sudden and include:
- Weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs, typically on one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying
- A severe headache with no apparent cause
- Sudden dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
A home caregiver can monitor your loved one for any health changes and symptoms of serious issues such as strokes. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Use the FAST Test
If you suspect your loved one has had a stroke, you can quickly check for signs using the following mnemonic device:
- Face – Ask your loved one to smile to see if his or her face droops on one side.
- Arms – See if he or she can raise both arms. During a stroke, one side tends to drift downward.
- Speech – Ask him or her to repeat a simple sentence to see if speech is slurred.
- Time – Because every minute can mean the difference between a successful recovery and long-term disability, you’ll need to act quickly and get help.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Call 911 right away if your loved one shows even one symptom of a stroke, and you should also note the time the symptoms started. A doctor may recommend medications called clot busters that can be given for certain types of strokes, but they must be started within a few hours after the onset of symptoms. If it turns out your loved one isn’t having a stroke, you’ll only have the minor inconvenience of an unnecessary trip to the hospital.
After dialing 911, you need to stay with your loved one until help arrives. This could prevent additional harm from occurring. Staying by your loved one’s side can prevent him or her from falling and experiencing physical injuries.
If your loved one is at high risk for stroke or other serious health issues, consider hiring a home caregiver. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
Using your mobile device or a notepad, record some important details to share with medical responders, including the time of the stroke, where it took place, and other important facts. If your loved one takes prescribed medications, include the names of the prescriptions in addition to any of your loved one’s current health conditions. Bring this list to the hospital to share with doctors.
This may be difficult to do, but you must remain calm and tell your loved one everything will be all right. Concentrate on helping your loved one and reminding yourself you’re doing all you can. Reassure him or her that you’re not going anywhere and help is on the way.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Richardson, TX, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (469) 573-4213 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans