You never expect it, but it can happen at any given moment: a senior loved one experiences a stroke. Of course it can happen to anyone of any age, but if you’re a caregiver in the Bay Area, our focus is to provide some critical information about the causes, risks, symptoms, etc. What if you’re engaged in conversation or eating dinner with an aging loved one and suddenly he/she disengages from the conversation, loses his or her balance, and slumps to the floor? What do you do? We hope it’s something you never have to see, but it’s important to know what to do if it does happen in your presence.
What should you do if you notice the above symptoms, your loved one’s speech suddenly slurs, an arm becomes numb or weak, or their face droops on one side? Call 911. While you’re waiting, see if the person can lift both arms and notice if one starts drifting downward. Have your loved one try to recite a basic, simple sentence and notice whether he/she seems to understand what you’re telling him or her. This will give you a better idea of whether it is actually a stroke.
The major signs of a stroke include:
- Severe headache
- Sudden loss of sight or blurred vision
- Balance issues
- Slurred speech, difficulty comprehending what others are saying
- Weakness, numbing, or even paralysis on one side of the body
Who is most at risk for suffering a stroke?
Aging seniors are more prone to stroke than younger people. Other risk factors include family history, gender, race, the individual’s history of TIA (transient ischemic attack), and factors that can be changed including smoking cigarettes, high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, poor diet, diabetes, lack of exercise, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse. Women are more likely to suffer a stroke than men; Native Americans and African-Americans are at a greater risk than other races.
What are the possible after-effects of a stroke?
Some of the most common issues individuals face following a stroke include difficulty swallowing, paralysis, potential loss of vision, difficulty speaking clearly, memory and concentration problems, loss of feeling on one side of the body for the long-term, and substantial mood changes. While some people may have little or no lasting effects following a stroke, others find their lives are substantially affected.
As a caregiver in San Francisco or the surrounding Bay Area, it’s important to know the symptoms of a stroke, the risk factors, and what to do. Caring for the elderly takes a special kind of person, one who is attentive and always watching for any signs of problems.
Need help caring for an aging loved one? At Care Indeed, our Bay Area home caregivers are highly trained, compassionate, trustworthy, and dedicated to caring for your loved ones as we would our own. Call us today for all of your home care needs.