Suffering 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 top reason behind disability in American seniors.
As with other serious medical conditions, prevention is crucial.
What Steps Can Be Taken for Stroke Prevention in Older Adults?
The good news is that there are many proactive strategies that can help reduce the risk of a stroke, including:
- Following a healthy diet. Prioritize foods that are low in cholesterol and fat and include plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- Quitting—or never starting—smoking. Smoking significantly raises the chance of a stroke.
- Routinely exercising. The doctor can offer specific recommendations and guidelines on the best exercise program for the older adult.
- Watching blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Hypertension and high levels of cholesterol can both lead to cardiovascular disease and/or stroke.
- Managing diabetes. Diabetes, when not properly managed, can damage blood vessels and narrow arteries, which can lead to stroke.
These lifestyle changes can go a long way towards decreasing the risk of stroke, and can also help prevent a second stroke if the person has already experienced one.
What Are the Signs of a Stroke?
If, in spite of taking the steps outlined above, a person does have a stroke, it is important to learn the signs and to act immediately. Time is of the essence, and getting medical care right away can be lifesaving.
Signs of a stroke include:
- Sudden vision problems
- An extreme headache that occurs for no known reason
- Difficulty talking
- 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
- Nausea or vomiting
What Will the Stroke Recovery Process Involve?
Recovery from a stroke begins with therapy. This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy, depending on how the person has been impacted.
- A physical therapist can help the older adult regain basic skills such as sitting, standing, walking, and transitional activities.
- An occupational therapist aids in retraining on activities of daily living that may have been compromised, such as preparing meals, getting dressed, eating, drinking, taking a shower, etc.
- A speech therapist helps patients recover their ability to speak and understand what others are saying.
- The purpose of these rehabilitative therapies is to help the person maximize independence and self-sufficiency.
The Role of Home Care
A home care agency, like Abby Senior Care, is a fundamental part of both helping a person prevent a stroke and assisting with a stroke survivor’s recovery. Our services are highly personalized to each individual’s needs, and can include:
- Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and any other desired outings
- Motivating the individual to stick to a doctor-approved exercise program
- Planning and preparing nutritious meals
- Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
- Providing medication reminders
- And more
Reach out to us today to learn how an in-home caregiver from Abby Senior Care can improve wellness and safety for someone you love. You can reach us any time online or at 303-699-8840. We’re pleased to offer care throughout Aurora, Littleton, Arvada, and the surrounding areas.