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Steps to Take If a Senior Loved One Has a Stroke

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

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. The Granite Bay, Placer County, and Folsom stroke care experts at Home Care Assistance want you to be prepared in the event your elderly loved one has a stroke.

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

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 of the onset of symptoms. If it turns out your loved one is not having a stroke, you’ll only have the minor inconvenience of an unnecessary trip to the hospital.

When recovering from a stroke, seniors face many daily challenges. Make sure your loved one has the support he or she needs by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are experts in elderly stroke care and are available 24/7 to assist with mobility, provide transportation to medical appointments, and help with tasks like bathing, cooking, and light housekeeping. To learn more about the elder home care Folsom, CA, families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to request a no-obligation consultation.

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