What Are The Symptoms Of A Stroke?
As our parents, grandparents or other elderly loved ones grow older, they become more vulnerable to illness. From the common cold and flu, through to more serious ailments such as a heart attack or stroke, it is important to be vigilant at all times.
If someone you love has historically suffered a stroke and you are worried they may have another one, or they have been diagnosed with a condition that is known to increase the risk of stroke, the fear of a sudden onset can be upsetting and concerning for everyone.
From the main causes of a stroke to what symptoms you should be looking out for, we have answered some common questions below to help ease your mind. If you are particularly worried, why not consider investing in live-in care? That way you will have peace of mind that there is a trained professional with your loved one at all times who will be able to spot potential symptoms and act on them quickly.
What are the Main Causes of a Stroke?
Strokes are more common among older people because our arteries become harder, more narrow and are more likely to become blocked as we age.
There are medical conditions that can increase the risk of a stroke. These include hypertension, atrial fibrillation (also known as irregular heart beats), diabetes and high cholesterol. If your loved one is aged over 65 and has been diagnosed with any of those conditions, it may be worth discussing the chances of stroke with a doctor to get some tailored and professional medical advice. It is also worth bearing in mind that colder weather can also increase the chances of a stroke, especially as we enter winter.
What are the Types of Stroke and Symptoms
Essentially, a stroke is when blood supply to the brain is either restricted or stopped completely. There are two main types of stroke that you should be aware of:
Ischaemic stroke: is when a blood clot stops the supply of blood to the brain.
Haemorrhagic stroke: occurs when a weakened blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain bursts.
The most common cause is Ischaemic, which accounts for 85% of cases.
Mini Stroke Symptoms
A mini stroke, or a Transient Ischaemic Attack, is a related condition where blood supply to the brain is temporarily restricted. A TIA is often a warning sign preceding a stroke and can last from anything between a few minutes to a full twenty-four hours.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke?
Some of the signs and symptoms of stroke are easy to identify, while there are others that make diagnosis more tricky. You may remember a TV advert in 2015 that outlined the four main signs to watch out for. These symptoms were summarised using the acronym F.A.S.T<
F – Face: If one side of someone’s face has fallen or is drooping and their ability to smile is impaired, call an ambulance straight away.
A – Arms: Ask them to raise their arm and keep them in that raised position. If they are unable to keep their arms suspended in the air, they may be experiencing a stroke and you should contact emergency services quickly.
S – Speech: Difficulty or inability to speak is also an easy-to-identify symptom. Their speech may be slurred and they may be unable to understand verbal forms of communication. If this occurs, phone 999 immediately.
T – Time: If you believe that someone is experiencing a stroke, time is of the essence. The faster someone is able to seek medical attention, the more chance there is of recovery.
Stroke Symptoms in Women
Whilst both men and women are at risk of a stroke, there is a higher risk for women. One in five women will suffer a stroke and there are unique symptoms in addition to the ones discussed above.
The nature of these symptoms are more difficult to diagnose and they include:
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
- A sudden change in behaviour
- Being sick of feeling nauseous
- Disorientation, confusion or being unresponsive
If you are concerned about your loved one but don’t yet feel that 24 hour live-in care is necessary, why not consider elderly care? A care professional will visit your loved one on a regular basic at a specific time to check that everything is OK. Not only will they be able to monitor and keep an eye out for signs of a stroke, they will also spend time getting to know and building a friendship with your loved one.
If you are worried about someone you love and want to discuss what options are available, our fully trained and experienced care staff are on hand to speak with you.