Strokes, or cerebral vascular accidents, involve an abnormal disruption in blood flow somewhere in the brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that each year, nearly 800,000 people in the United States experience strokes. Approximately 185,000 individuals experience more than one stroke. Strokes are further identified by the underlying event that caused the occurrence.
Stroke Risk Factors
The chances of experiencing any type of stroke increases for individuals with: • Abnormal heart rhythms• Blood clots• Diabetes• High blood pressure• High LDL cholesterol• Narrowed arteries
Symptoms accompanying a stroke depend on the area in the brain experiencing insufficient blood flow. Signs often include one or more of the following: • Unusual weakness on one side of the body• One-sided facial drooping• Sudden and severe headache• Blindness in one eye• Abnormal visual field loss in both eyes• Confusion• Dizziness• Speech or swallowing difficulties• Balance and walking difficulties
Ischemic strokes take place when blood flow through a blood vessel ceases secondary to a blockage. The condition accounts for up to 87 percent of all cerebral vascular accidents. The blockage may involve the accumulation of fat deposits along blood vessel linings, which is commonly known as atherosclerosis. The fat may then lead to the formation of a blood clot that adheres to the substance, or a blood clot may form in another area of the body and become lodged in a smaller cerebral blood vessel. The symptoms caused by an ischemic stroke last for more than one day. Healing and resolution of symptoms may occur, or the disabilities may become permanent. Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leadingat-home careagency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
Hemorrhagic strokes occur approximately 13 percent of the time and involve a ruptured blood vessel that causes bleeding into the brain. As the blood accumulates among the tissue, intracranial pressure increases, which leads to various symptoms. The hemorrhagic variety may occur somewhere in the brain or in the subarachnoid space in the layer between the skull and the brain. The rupture happens secondary to an injury, aneurysm, or arteriovenous malformation. The symptoms caused by the stroke last for more than a day and may become permanent. The effects of strokes can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without having caregivers close by at all times. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Des Moines, IA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs)
This condition is commonly referred to as a mini-stroke. However, those who experience TIAs must consider the symptoms accompanying the event as a warning. Up to 33 percent of individuals who have mini-stroke events experience more serious strokes within one year. Up to 15 percent have strokes within three months. The condition occurs when a blood clot or other type of substance temporarily impedes intracranial blood flow. As the accompanying symptoms often subside in a few hours, many people fail to seek medical attention. Individuals may temporarily experience common stroke symptoms or: • Bladder or bowel incontinence• Disorientation• Balance problems• Difficulty making decisions or memory loss• Unusual uncontrolled emotionsSenior stroke survivors often need very specialized care from professionals with experience in providing support during stroke recovery. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Des Moines families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.