Experiencing a stroke is just the first step in a series of challenges. The resulting effects from a stroke can linger long-term. In fact, the National Institute on Aging marks stroke as the leading cause of disability in older Americans.
As with any other serious medical condition, prevention is crucial.
What Can Older Adults Do to Prevent a Stroke?
Fortunately, there are many proactive strategies that can help reduce the risk of a stroke, including:
- Quitting—or never starting—smoking. Smoking dramatically raises the risk of a stroke.
- Managing diabetes. Diabetes, when not properly managed, can damage blood vessels and narrow arteries, which can result in a stroke.
- Routinely exercising. The doctor can provide specific guidelines and recommendations on the best workout program for the older adult.
- Watching blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Hypertension and high cholesterol levels can lead to cardiovascular illnesses and/or stroke.
- Following a healthy diet. Prioritize foods that are low in fat and cholesterol, including plenty of vegetables and fruits.
These lifestyle changes can go a long way towards decreasing the risk of a stroke, and can also help prevent a second stroke if the person has already suffered one.
What Are the Signs of a Stroke?
If, in spite of taking the steps outlined above, a person does have a stroke, it’s important to learn the signs and to act immediately. Time is of the essence, and getting medical care right away can save a life.
Signs of a stroke include:
- A severe headache that develops for no known reason
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty speaking
- Sudden vision problems
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, especially in the arm, leg, or face
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, or trouble walking
What Will the Stroke Recovery Process Involve?
Recovery from a stroke begins with rehabilitation. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy, depending on how the person has been affected.
- A physical therapist will help the person regain basic skills such as standing, walking, sitting, and transitional activities.
- An occupational therapist helps retrain individuals in activities of daily living that could have been affected, such as getting dressed, taking a bath or shower, eating, drinking, preparing meals, etc.
- A speech therapist helps with the recovery of speaking as well as understanding what others are saying.
The intention of these rehabilitative therapies is to help the person increase independence and self-sufficiency.
The Role of Home Care
A home care agency, like Anthem Home Care, is an integral part of both helping a person prevent a stroke and assisting with a stroke survivor’s recovery. Our services are highly customized to each individual’s needs, and can include:
- Providing medication reminders
- Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and any other desired outing
- Motivating the individual to stick to a doctor-approved fitness program
- Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
- Planning and preparing nutritious meals
- And more
Reach out to us today to find out how an in-home caregiver from Anthem Home Care can improve wellness and safety for someone you love. You can reach us any time online or at 361-643-2323. We are happy to offer care throughout Portland, Aransas Pass, Ingleside, and the surrounding areas.