Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can not only save a life but also prevent irrevisable damage. A stroke is essentially a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain. Brain cells don’t survive without constant blood flow, which is why symptoms start quickly after the occlusion.
If you’re taking care of someone who has underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or high cholesterol, they are at a higher risk for a stroke. This means that you, as the caregiver, will need to know what to do should that emergency arise.
FAST: The acronym fast stands for face, arms, speech, and time. If you are caring for someone who suddenly becomes disoriented, ask them to smile- if they are having a stroke half or part of their face will droop. Likewise, if you ask the person to hold both arms in front of them, one arm will begin to fall due to a lack of motor control. Finally, t stands for time. If you notice symptoms of a stroke, act as quickly as possible and call 911.
Care After the Stroke
Not all strokes are alike. Some individuals who experience a stroke lose a lot of their ability to walk or speak while others lose only a little. Whatever the case, you’ll need to coordinate a plan with your doctor for extended care.
Speech and Swallowing Therapy: Some stroke victims need to relearn how to safely swallow food and how to speak. This type of training is often done by a speech-language pathologist.
Vision Rehabilitation: Strokes often lead to visual issues. An optometrist specializing in vision rehabilitation can help your loved one cope and optimize functional vision.
Orientation and Mobility: Depending on the extent of the damage, your loved one may regain some ability to move about the home or even outdoors with the proper training.
Caring for an elderly loved one is challenging, which is why Sutton In-Home Care is here to help. Whether your loved one has suffered a stroke or has other health conditions, our professionals can help ensure that they are safe so that you can take a much-deserved rest.