May is National Stroke Awareness Month. As one of the top leading causes of death and disability in the United States, learning the warning signs of a stroke can be life-saving in an emergency situation. Early intervention and treatment at the onset of a stroke makes a huge difference in recovery and can improve your quality of life. Discover the four most common stroke warning signs to look for, as well as an easy acronym to help you remember the symptoms.
Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. When this happens, the brain doesn’t receive oxygen, damaging brain cells and impacting major areas of the brain. As a result, certain parts of the body can be slightly or even severely affected.
To determine if you or your loved one is someone is suffering from a stroke, the Stroke Association has developed the acronym FAST:
1. Facial Drooping – Ask the person to smile. If one side of the face droops or appears uneven, he or she is experiencing one of the first symptoms of stroke. Also known as facial paralysis, this happens when the nerves controlling certain muscles in the face become damaged within the brain. Ask the person to smile and look for one side or the other to droop.
2. Arm Weakness – Similar to what can happen with the face, one arm may be weak or even numb. If a person raises both arms and one (or both) begins to drift downward, that may be a warning sign.
3. Speech – Stroke can cause recognizable difficulty in the person’s ability to speak, depending on which area of the brain the stroke is impacting. Check for slurred speech, garbled words, or irregular speech patterns. A helpful tip is to choose a phrase that you or your loved says often, that way it’s easier to recognize any differences.
4. Time – If you see any of these symptoms, it’s time to call 911 immediately. Note when the first symptom was observed, because having a record of this could help the medical team make decisions during treatment.
Depending on the areas of the brain impacted, stroke affects each person differently. No two people recover from stroke the same way. Stroke victims may need to make several adjustments during recovering, including physical, social and emotional aspects of their lives. Recovering from a stroke is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, patience and compassionate care.
Some seniors may experience feelings of depression, anger and anxiety during the recovery proves. This is normal, and compassionate care and support after a stroke can help address these challenges and more. While dealing with the aftereffects of stroke can be challenging, it’s not something you have to go through alone.
If someone you care about has suffered a stroke, our assisted living community offers specialized care and attention that offers space for recovery and helps people maintain their independence for as long as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our community options or schedule a tour where you can experience what makes Saint Simeon’s in Tulsa a wonderful place to call home.
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