What To Do If You Suspect Your Loved One Is Having A Stroke
Suffering a stroke is a danger at any age, but your older parents and loved ones are often more at risk. It can be a terrifying time when your parent has a stroke. It is important to be well aware of the warning signs and risk factors of a stroke to help prevent permanent damage to your parents memory.
What is a Stroke
A stroke occurs when an artery is blocked by a blood clot or when a blood vessel breaks which then interrupts the blood flow to the brain. This blockage or break can then lead to brain cells dying and can cause a degree of brain damage.
How to Tell if Someone is Having a Stroke (FAST)
The NHS released a campaign a few years ago which outlined the best way to identify if someone is having a stroke:
Face: Face fallen on one side
Arms: Inability to raise both arms
Speech: Speech slurring
Time: Call 999
Other signs of a stroke can include dizziness, loss of balance, blurred vision or severe headaches.
What to do if you Suspect a Stroke
If you have been given any indication that someone may be having a stroke then you need to act fast and get the person investigated immediately.
Process at the Hospital
Once you arrive at the hospital, they will carry out necessary tests and scans to identify if a stroke has occurred or is occurring. The basic tests will involve blood clotting tests, cholesterol tests and a glucose test. And other additional tests and scans that may also be required are ECG’s, chest X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasounds or an echocardiogram.
Once you have completed the relevant tests it is then important to be proactive with finding out the results and keeping in contact with the GP.
Importance of Aftercare
The aftercare process after a stroke should be something that is carried out immediately after the incident. This will help to increase the chance of having a full recovery and can allow time for them to regain any skills lost due to the stroke.
Options of Aftercare:
The level and choice of aftercare will depend on the severity of the stroke, where the brain was affected and what motor functions require control. Aftercare and rehab for stroke survivors may take months or even years. The options available for aftercare are:
- Specialist care home or rehabilitation residency
- Well-equipped nursing facilities
- Care at home
- Speech and language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Psychological evaluation
- Dietetic care
- Orthoptic care
- Pharmaceutical care
Lifestyle Choices Advised to Prevent Strokes:
The main risk factors of a stroke can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and aged 55+. Whilst many of the risks can be managed and well controlled with a healthy lifestyle, some parts are beyond control.
If your parent has any of these risk factors, particularly if older, it’s important that you are both aware of the lifestyle and medical changes that can cause a stroke.