Given the chances of stroke increase with age, you may be concerned for your elderly loved one. Though strokes can happen without any warning, the good news is that 80% of strokes are preventable. Home Care Assistance of Placer County is committed to providing family caregivers with stroke prevention tips that can help keep their loved ones healthy. Here are four easy ways to reduce the risk of stroke in your senior relative.
1. Assess lifestyle risk factors
Exercise and eat a healthy diet. Decreasing excess body fat decreases seniors’risk of disease. You may help your loved one maintain a healthy weight by encouraging him or her to eat low-calorie meals and to go on light walks, or by hiring an hourly in-home caregiver in Placer County to help introduce a healthy eating and exercise routine to your loved one’s lifestyle.
Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake. Nicotine and alcohol can constrict blood vessels and thicken blood, leading to the types of clots that cause strokes. Studies show that smoking can more than double the risk of stroke.
2. Identify risk factors
Meet with your loved one’s doctor to identify and address any medical risk factors. Medical conditions contributing to a higher likelihood of stroke include:
•High blood pressure
•Atrial fibrillation (A fib)
•Carotid artery disease
3. Aspirin regimen
Studies have shown that taking a daily aspirin can prevent blood clots. Aspirin therapy may not be appropriate for individuals with certain conditions, so consult your loved one’s physician before starting an aspirin regimen.
4. Learn to be FAST
Be prepared to act quickly if you suspect a stroke by memorizing the acronym FAST. This simple mnemonic stands for face, arms, speech, and time.
Ask the person to smile. The person may be having a stroke if one side of the face droops.
Ask the person to raise their arms. One arm will typically drift downward in a stroke.
Ask the person to speak. Slurred speech may indicate a stroke.
Call 9-1-1 immediately. Prompt treatment improves chances of recovery.
Home Care Assistance takes pride in providing high quality stroke care to our clients. Our in-home caregivers are expertly trained to assist your loved one with his or her day-to-day needs following a stroke, including helping implement a healthy diet, providing mobility assistance and transportation to therapy sessions, and other routine tasks. If your loved one is a stroke survivor and needs post-stroke care in Placer County, call a Care Manager at 916.226.3737 to learn more about our in-home services.