Strokes. Everyone knows about them; strokes are often referred to when discussing the health of older adults. But, how much do you really know about them? Have you actually been paying attention when the topic of strokes comes up or do you just tune out? To commemorate Stroke Awareness Month , we are going to share some important facts about a health issue that everyone knows about, but don’t really know:
A stroke is caused by a blood vessel blockage or rupture in the brain resulting in a sudden loss of brain function. The most common type of stroke is the blood vessel blockage or ischemic stroke. Strokes most likely strike people over the age of 55. However, young people are not immune as 25% of Canadian who have had strokes are under the age of 65. Currently, more than 740,000 are living with the effects of a stroke. Strokes are a leading cause of death in adults in North America. If not death, strokes will cause impairment including loss of physical functions, memory loss, slurred speech, and other disabilities.
Strokes can occur indiscriminately, but some are more at risk than others. Obviously, seniors are most at risk, but African-Canadians and First Nations are at a higher risk of stroke. Family history also plays a role. High blood pressure is usually main risk factor. Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can lead to strokes. Other potential risk factors include: overconsumption of alcohol and drugs, stress, depression, an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, and high cholesterol.
How To Avoid a Stroke
Even with a family history, you can lessen your chances of having a stroke with some lifestyle changes. Becoming more active and getting regular exercise is a start. Revamping your diet to include lean meats and high-grain fruits and vegetables will also help. Quit smoking and cut down on your drinking. If you have a family history, make sure you are regularly being monitored by your family doctor.
Signs of a Stroke
After suffering a stroke, the faster you receive medical attention, the more likely it is that you will survive and avoid major brain damage. That being said, many people suffer from minor strokes and don’t even realize it. It is important to be aware of the signs of a stroke. These signs can include paralysis of the face, slurred speech, problems with walking, numbness, and a drooping face.
Do you have a loved one who lives alone and has a high risk of a stroke? Or maybe your loved one has already suffered a stroke and needs extra care? It might be time to consider a home health care service. iCare Home Health offers premier homecare service and senior care to families in Toronto, Burlington, and the entire Greater Toronto Area. We will send an efficient, professional, and compassionate caregiver directly to the home of your loved one where they will receive premier service. Our packages can include meal preparation, medicine maintenance, watching for warning signs, and live-in caregivers. Contact iCare Home Health today and find out how we can care for your loved one.