In the event of a stroke, time is of the essence. Caregivers need to be able to recognize the signs of strokes so they can get their senior loved ones the help they need immediately. Common stroke symptoms can be remembered via the acronym FAST, which stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time to call emergency services. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common signs of strokes in aging adults.
When a senior is having a stroke, the first symptom is often facial drooping. One side of the face may appear uneven, or your elderly parent may experience feelings of numbness. If you notice any irregularities, ask your loved one to smile. In the event one side is markedly lopsided, it may be cause for concern.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Strokes usually affect one arm more than the other. If you notice one of your loved one’s arms seems limp or nonfunctional, ask him or her to raise them both as high as possible. If one arm drifts downward, it may be a sign of a stroke.
If your loved one is having a stroke, his or her speech may become slurred, fragmented, or difficult to understand. To check for speech impediment, ask your loved one to repeat a basic sentence like “The weather is warm today” or “The grass is green.” If your loved one cannot repeat the sentence, slurs words, or is unable to speak at all, it’s time to get help.
Strokes are just one of the many medical conditions older adults are susceptible to. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare services. Surrey families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Symptoms of a Mini-Stroke
Be on the lookout for the symptoms of mini-strokes. Also known as transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), mini-strokes don’t necessarily cause lasting damage, but they could indicate the onset of a major stroke attack. If mini-strokes last for more than 24 hours, they often transition into regular strokes and cause lasting damage. The symptoms of TIAs are similar to those associated with strokes, but they’re usually less obvious, which means seniors can undergo multiple TIAs before anyone notices.
Mini-strokes can cause balance issues, dizziness, and poor coordination. If your loved one suddenly has bumps and bruises he or she can’t account for, they may be caused by TIA-related disorientation. Seniors who have experienced TIAs may also have speech difficulties, though not to the same extent as someone who’s had a full-blown stroke. Listen for sentences that are mostly correct but littered with the occasional slurred word or strange grammatical construction.
What to Do in the Event of a Stroke
Never hesitate to call emergency services if you suspect your loved one is having a stroke. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If your loved one is demonstrating any of the symptoms discussed above, call 911 and get medical attention for your parent as soon as possible.
Recovering from a stroke can make it difficult for seniors to manage daily tasks independently. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Surrey seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. Call us at (778) 279-3634 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.