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 for disability in older adults in the U.S.
As with any serious health issue, prevention is essential.
How Can Older Adults Reduce the Risk of a Stroke?
The good news is that there are many proactive steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of a stroke, including:
- Following a healthy diet. Prioritize foods that are low in fat and cholesterol and include plenty of veggies and fruits at each meal.
- Routinely exercising. The doctor can offer specific guidelines and recommendations on the best exercise program for the individual.
- Watching blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol can both result in heart disease and/or stroke.
- Managing diabetes. Diabetes, when not properly managed, can damage blood vessels and narrow arteries, which can lead to stroke.
- Quitting—or never starting—smoking. Smoking dramatically increases the risk of a stroke.
These changes in lifestyle can go a long way towards decreasing the risk of a stroke, and can also help prevent another 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
- A severe headache that occurs for no known reason
- Nausea or vomiting
- 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
What Will the Stroke Recovery Process Involve?
Recovery from a stroke begins with rehabilitation. This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy, depending on how the person has been impacted.
- A physical therapist will help the person recover basic skills such as standing, walking, sitting, and transitional activities.
- An occupational therapist helps retrain individuals in 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 with the recovery of speaking as well as understanding what others are saying.
The purpose of each of these rehabilitative therapies is to help the person boost independence and self-sufficiency.
The Role of In-Home Care
A home care agency, like Grace Home Care, is a fundamental element of both helping a person prevent a stroke and assisting with a stroke survivor’s recovery. Our care services are highly personalized to each individual’s needs, and can include:
- Motivating the person to adhere to a doctor-approved exercise regimen
- Providing medication reminders
- Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and any other desired outings
- Planning and preparing nutritious meals
- Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
- And much more
Contact us today to learn how an in-home caregiver from Grace Home Care can improve wellness and safety for someone you love. You can reach us any time at 785-286-2273. We are pleased to offer care throughout the greater Topeka area.