Jun 16, 2017 by Gregg Gammello
June is National Brain Health Awareness month. Organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Stroke Association dedicate this month to educating and fundraising for brain diseases. Did you know that stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States? Learning how to prevent, recognize, and recover from a stroke with the help of care at home can ease the long-term effects and help seniors nationwide.
A stroke occurs when there is a blockage in the arteries leading to or within the brain. This blockage restricts oxygen and blood flow, causing brain cells to die. Losing brain cells damages the brain’s ability to function and can cause decreased mobility, lack of strength, and worsened or lost speech.
The negative effects of stroke are scary. Being able to recognize when a person is experiencing a stroke may lessen the extent of brain damage and increase the potential for recovery. If you are proving care at home for a senior loved one, remember FAST for the warning signs of stroke:
F – Facial drooping
Is one side of the face drooping or numb? Is the smile uneven?
A – Arm weakness
Is one of the arms weak or numb? When the arms are raised, does one drift down?
S – Speech difficulty
Is speech slurred or difficult to understand? Are they unable to repeat a simple sentence?
T – Time to Call 9-1-1
If your senior loved one is experiencing one or any combination of these symptoms, immediately call for emergency medical help.
Because a stroke causes damage to the brain, long-term care and therapy is often required. The brain often must relearn muscle movements, like lifting limbs or moving fingers, and sometimes continued speech difficulties result from stroke.
As your senior loved one recovers from a stroke, personal care at home may become a good option for your family. Care at home allows a person to stay in familiar surroundings which often helps the brain heal. A weak or confused senior may be able to receive physical or speech therapy as part of a care at home plan. Transportation assistance can also be helpful for stroke survivors who may be wheelchair-bound.
The recovery process of stroke survivors varies greatly based on the type of stroke suffered, the age of the person with the disease, as well as any other medical conditions. Always consult with a doctor or medical professional to understand the recovery options for your individual case. Maintaining a positive yet realistic attitude toward recovery for stroke survivors will have a huge impact on their overall health and wellness.
Providers of care at home should be able to recognize the warning signs and symptoms of seniors experiencing a stroke. Calling for emergency medical assistance can not only save their life but also increase their potential for recovery.
This month, take the time to educate yourself and those providing care at home of the signs of stroke.
Comfort Keepers of Lansdale, PA provides senior care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:
Ambler, Colmar, Earlington, Franconia, Gwynedd, Gwynedd Valley, Hatfield, Hilltown, Kulpsville, Lansdale, Line Lexington, Montgomeryville, No Wales, Rushland, Sellersville, Souderton, Spring House, Telford, Tylersport, West Point and Worcester.