One of the leading causes of death in the U.S. is stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke. Someone dies from a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Now that it’s May and National Stroke Awareness Month, it’s the right time for seniors and the elderly, as well as aging adults in assisted living communities, learn about strokes and their causes and effects.
This is the 34th year that the U.S. has commemorated National Stroke Awareness Day. It was started by a proclamation from President George H.W. Bush.
The CDC, the American Heart Association, World Stroke Campaign and other nonprofit and health organizations continue working to educate Americans, research strokes and treat people who suffer strokes around the world.
For seniors and the elderly, knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is very important for surviving them and recovering. Getting to an emergency room within three hours of the first symptom means patients typically have less disability after three months than patients who delayed care.
The Easy Way to Diagnose Stroke
Health experts have come up with an easy way to tell is someone is having a stroke: “FAST.” Here’s how you can know the signs and symptoms of a stroke and react quickly.
- Face—Ask the person to smile. You can quickly see if one side of their face droops.
- Arm—Ask the person to raise both arms. If one drifts lower than the other, it may be a sign of a stroke.
- Speech—Slurred speech is another stroke symptom. Ask the person to repeat a single sentence.
- Time—Call 911 quickly. Time is often the difference between life and death and even partial or full recovery.
We can’t stress enough how important it is for you to take the steps to reduce your risks of a stroke. Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
The long-term effects of strokes are debilitating, especially for seniors and the elderly. A stroke damages parts of the brain and these parts can die within minutes.
How to Help Prevent Stroke
Health experts have five ways for you to be involved in preventing a stroke. These five keys also help guard against the threat of one in your life.
—Control blood pressure and cholesterol by taking your prescribed medications.
—Manage other medical conditions that may lead to a stroke, including obesity and diabetes.
—Avoid smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Both of these increase your risk of a stroke.
—Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and sugar. Make sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
—Increase your physical activity. This also helps you maintain a healthy weight that’s another safeguard against having a stroke.
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