Stroke Signs and Prevention Tips for Older Adults

READ TIME: 4 MINUTES

By HomeWell Care Services

May 19, 2022

Stroke Signs and Prevention Tips for Older Adults
Stroke Signs and Prevention Tips for Older Adults

Table of Contents

Each year more than 795,000 people suffer from a stroke in the United States. More than 76% of these strokes were new or first-time occurrences. The risk of suffering a stroke gradually increases as we age and it is the leading cause of serious long-term disability.

Knowing the early warning signs and symptoms of a stroke can help  save a life. Studies show that people who arrive at the hospital within three hours of their first symptoms often have less disability three months after a stroke than those who received delayed care *.

What is a stroke?

Different Types of Strokes:

Ischemic Stroke: An ischemic stroke is the most common stroke type.   strokes, which occur when the blood flow to the brain is blocked.* This is typically a result of fatty buildup and cholesterol in the blood vessels.

Hemorrhagic Stroke: A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a sudden breaking of a blood vessel in the brain, known as a hemorrhage. High blood pressure is one of the more well-known causes of this type of stroke.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): A TIA stroke is also known as a “mini-stroke.” This is a temporary blockage in blood flow to your brain. The symptoms of a TIA stroke usually last for just a few minutes or may take up to 24 hours. It is important to remember that a mini-stroke is oftentimes a warning sign of a future stroke. You should still seek medical attention even if the symptoms are gone.

Recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs

Knowing the signs of a stroke can help you act quickly which makes a dramatic difference in the effects of stroke in seniors. An easy way to remember the signs is by using the acronym F.A.S.T.

(F)ace Drooping

Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

(A)rm Weakness

Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

(S)peech Difficulty

Is their speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.

(T)ime to call 9-1-1

If you notice any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 and seek emergency treatment immediately.

Stroke signs in women vs. men

The stroke signs in men and women are similar. However, stroke symptoms in women can be less noticeable at times which means they can be more easily missed or dismissed.

According to the CDC , the risk of having a stroke is higher among women due to several individual factors such as pregnancy or birth control supplements.

Outside of the common F.A.S.T warning signs, women may experience the following symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache, disorientation, or confusion
  • Weakness or fatigue

Take preventative measures

There are some health factors that can put seniors at a higher risk of having a stroke. Some of those factors are beyond our control, but a few lifestyle changes can help you minimize the risk of a stroke such as:

Be more active

Older adults should participate in light physical activity ranging from thirty minutes to two hours each day to lower their risk of stroke.

Eat healthy

Try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.

Limit alcohol

Alcohol can lead to high blood pressure levels.  It is better to try to limit the amount of alcohol you consume.

Quit smoking

Smoking cigarettes can increase your chances of having a stroke. If you currently smoke, consider asking your doctor for a way to help you quit.

Spread awareness to save a life

Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke can not only save your life, but it can also save the life of someone you love.

Download our Trusted Tips factsheet to share with others and help keep your family informed.

After Stroke Support

Regaining your strength and independence after a stroke can be a challenge. Our GoHomeWell Post Medical Care Program can help provide you with peace of mind after returning from a hospital stay. Click here to learn about how we can help you rebuild your independence safely, and with the assistance of a dedicated Care Manager and supportive caregiver.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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