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Posts Tagged “Stroke”

Do You Know These Unexpected Side Effects of Stroke?

StrokeThe latest facts and statistics surrounding strokes are alarming. Impacting someone in the U.S. every 40 seconds – more than 795,000 each year – strokes are the top cause of severe long-term disability, reducing mobility for more than half of those who encounter them over age 65. And one out of every 20 deaths in America is attributed to stroke.

There are several common side effects of stroke such as muscle paralysis, blurred vision, and slurred speech. However, when a senior experiences a stroke, there are particular side effects that may come as a surprise to both the senior and his or her loved ones. As experts in Arizona home health care, including caring for those recovering from stroke, we at Nightingale Homecare share the following types of lesser known effects of stroke, and how you can help manage them:

  • Moodiness. A combination of the physical and emotional upheaval that can occur following a stroke can result in depression and other mood disorders. It’s important to let the senior’s physician know about any mood swings you notice so that he or she can provide treatment to help stabilize the senior’s emotions.
  • Unusual behavior. Erratic behaviors can occur following a stroke, such as spontaneous crying or laughter without cause. Again, it’s crucial to bring any inappropriate behaviors to the attention of your loved one’s medical team. Keeping a log with dates, times, and any triggering events that may have initiated the behavior can be helpful.
  • Exhaustion. Beyond simply feeling tired a lot, post-stroke exhaustion may require more than just getting more rest to correct. The National Stroke Association explains it as a sudden drop in energy level that can come on without warning, resulting from a variety of factors. The senior’s doctor can help identify the exact cause and how to best help.
  • Insomnia. Whether from a change in circadian rhythm or the effects of obstructive sleep apnea, which can develop post-stroke, a stroke survivor may suddenly begin sleeping during the day and feeling restless and wakeful during the night. Check with the older person’s medical professional to determine if a sleep aid is permissible temporarily to help the person adjust to a more normal sleeping pattern once again.

One of the best ways to help someone recovering from a stroke is by partnering with a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at Nightingale Homecare. Our Arizona home health care team is fully trained and experienced in the nuances of post-stroke care, and can help with personal care needs, exercise and other physical activity, running errands, preparing meals, as well as a full range of skilled nursing care and professional therapy services – allowing family members to take a much-needed break from providing care with the confidence that their loved one is in the best of hands. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn about our in-home care for seniors.

Is Your Senior Loved One a Stroke Risk?

stroke riskDid you know that strokes, also known as “brain attacks,” strike as many as 800,000 adults in the U.S. alone each year, taking the lives of over 100,000 of them and often leaving unalterable effects for their survivors? Because the risk of stroke is twice as great in those over age 55, we at Nightingale Homecare, the top rated Arizona home care agency, want you to be aware of stroke risk factors and symptoms to watch for so you can help keep your senior loved ones safe and well.

Stroke Risk Factors:

In addition to age, men, African-Americans, and those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or a family history of stroke are at an elevated risk for stroke. Although none of these factors are within our control, we can all reduce stroke risk in the following ways:

  • Keep blood pressure in check. High blood pressure (hypertension) is the number one cause of stroke, so test your senior loved ones’ blood pressure often. (Nightingale nurses can help with this, right in the comfort of home.) Be sure the doctor is consulted if blood pressure readings are elevated, as a variety of medications are available to help maintain appropriate numbers.
  • Quit smoking. Those who smoke are twice as likely to suffer from a stroke, among a number of other serious health concerns. Second-hand smoke from other smokers is also a stroke risk factor. For seniors who are currently smokers, it’s never too late to stop, and the benefits to be gained are tremendous! Within a matter of a few years of quitting, stroke risk is reduced as much as if the senior had never smoked in the first place.
  • Watch weight and cholesterol. Those who are overweight or have an elevated cholesterol level of over 200 are at a greater risk for stroke, as well as high blood pressure and other concerns. Staying active and making healthy eating choices are great ways to minimize stroke risk – and Nightingale Homecare caregivers can help with both of these goals!

Stroke Symptoms:

If any of these signs are noticed, particularly if more than one is apparent, call 911 for immediate medical assistance. Time is of the essence in minimizing the risk of permanent damage, with the goal of getting treatment for the person within the first 60 minutes. Note that with a stroke, these symptoms will come on suddenly:

  • Paralysis or numbness in the arm, leg or face, especially if on only one side of the body
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Confusion and/or trouble with speaking
  • Blurriness of vision
  • Severe headache, often in tandem with vomiting

If your senior loved one has suffered a stroke, turn to the trusted Arizona home care agency care team at Nightingale Homecare. We can help seniors in a variety of ways to enhance quality of life and to remain safe and comfortable. You can reach us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more.

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Posted in Blog, Senior Health on July 19th, 2017 · Comments Off on Is Your Senior Loved One a Stroke Risk?