Senior Care Topics: How to identify a stroke.

Knowing the signs of a stroke are essential for anyone providing senior care to a friend or loved one!

senior careThe National Stroke Association has a simple acronym to identify stroke symptoms, as depicted in their graphic shown here on the left.  The acronym is FAST because it is very important to get help FAST for someone suffering a stroke!  If you notice any of these FAS signs in yourself or a loved one, call 9-1-1 immediately.

What is a stroke?

At its simplest, a stroke is a reduction or stoppage of blood flow to an area of the brain, causing damage to the part of the brain affected.  When the oxygen flow is reduced brain cells can die quickly, often within minutes.

The precise location(s) where this happens in the brain determines the symptoms a person will experience.  Depending upon the severity of the stroke, symptoms can range from weakness in a limb to slurred speech, to complete paralysis of one side of the body.

What causes a stroke?

A stroke is most often caused by some type of blood clot, either in the brain itself or one that travels to the brain from somewhere else in the body.  The other common cause is hemorrhage in the brain itself, which can be triggered by a number of blood vessel disorders, including high blood pressure.

How can you prevent a stroke?

Now for the good news:  Up to 80% of strokes can be prevented by these common-sense approaches:

  • Don't smoke
  • Control your high blood pressure
  • Manage your diabetes
  • Exercise regularly
  • Control your weight
  • Manage your cholesterol
  • Manage Atrial Fibrillation
  • Don't over indulge in alcoholic beverages

For more information:

National Stroke Association

American Stroke Association

Mayo Clinic


If you are caring for a loved one who has had a stroke, Seniors Helping Seniors can help you just a little... or a whole lot.  We provide high quality in-home senior care in Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester Counties in Pennsylvania.  You can contact us at 610-334-4276 or 610-590-4888.