Strokes occur when the flow of oxygen to the brain is blocked. They can happen to people of all ages, but the chance of suffering one is much higher for seniors over age 65. When an aging parent suffers a stroke, it is crucial that they get treatment right away to improve the chances of survival and recovery.
October 29 is World Stroke Day, which is dedicated to raise stroke awareness and educate people about the importance of seeking help immediately when they see warning signs in loved ones of all ages.
Michigan residents can benefit from learning the three warning signs their senior loved one is having stroke. According to a 2007 study, many residents of the Great Lakes State could not identify all of the signs of stroke when surveyed. Stroke is the state’s fourth-leading cause of death and the nation’s leading cause of adult disability.
What to Know About Strokes
Here’s how you can help raise awareness that can save lives:
Know the signs. According to the CDC, the five most common symptoms someone is suffering a stroke all occur suddenly and without warning. They include
- A severe headache.
- Numbness or weakness in an arm, face or leg on one side of the body.
- Inability to walk or keep balance while standing or walking.
- Confusion, slurred speech and difficulty talking.
- Vision problems in one or both eyes.
Know what to do. Immediate action is key. If you see any of the symptoms in an aging loved one, don’t dismiss them. Call 9-1-1.
Educate your team. Make sure that all family and friends involved with caring for your senior loved one know the warning signs and know that if they see any of them, they shouldn’t hesitate to call 9-1-1.
Download the FAST Stroke Warning Signs mobile app on your mobile device. F.A.S.T is an acronym reminder of three common stroke signs and what to do when a loved one exhibits them. If you see Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, it’s Time to call 911. Use your device to show your aging parents this easy-to-read visual aid that can help them recognize the three most common stroke symptoms and remember what to do if they experience them.
Be Social. Share the American Heart Association’s World Stroke Day infographic and World Stoke Day messages on Facebook and Twitter. “Like” the American Stroke Association’s Facebook page.
Share the old fashioned way. If your aging parent resides in an assisted-living or independent-living community, ask to place fliers of posters in gathering areas.
Stroke can cause devastating lifestyle changes for older adults. Quick action can prevent disability and save your loved one’s life.