A senior woman exercises in order to avoid strokes.

Experiencing a stroke is just the first step in a series of challenges. The results of a stroke can last for a long time. In fact, the National Institute on Aging lists stroke as the leading reason for disability in American seniors.

As with other serious health issues, prevention is key.

What Can Older Adults Do to Avoid Strokes?

Fortunately, there are many proactive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of a stroke, including:

  • Routinely exercising. The doctor can offer specific recommendations and guidelines on the best workout program for the individual.
  • Watching blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol can both result in cardiovascular disease and/or stroke.
  • Managing diabetes. Diabetes, when not properly managed, can damage blood vessels and narrow arteries, which can lead to stroke.
  • Following a balanced and healthy diet. Prioritize foods that are low in fat and cholesterol and include plenty of veggies and fruits.
  • Quitting—or never starting—smoking. Smoking greatly increases the chance of a stroke.

These changes in lifestyle can go a long way towards decreasing the chance of stroke, and can also help prevent a second stroke if the person has already experienced one.

What Are the Signs of a Stroke?

If, in spite of taking the steps outlined above, a person does have a stroke, it is important to know the signs and to act immediately. Time is of the essence, and getting medical care right away can save a life.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden vision problems
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, particularly in the arm, leg, or face
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • A severe headache that occurs for no known reason
  • Confusion
  • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, or trouble walking
  • Drowsiness

What Will the Stroke Recovery Process Involve?

Recovery from a stroke starts with rehabilitation. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy, depending on how the person has been affected.

  • A physical therapist will help the individual regain basic skills such as standing, walking, sitting, and transitional activities.
  • An occupational therapist helps retrain individuals in activities of daily living that may have been affected, such as getting dressed, taking a bath or shower, eating, drinking, preparing meals, etc.
  • A speech therapist supports the recovery of speaking as well as understanding what others are saying.

The purpose of all of these rehabilitative therapies is to help the person maximize independence and self-sufficiency.

The Role of Home Care

A home care provider, like Home With You Senior Care, is a fundamental element of both helping a person prevent a stroke and assisting with a stroke survivor’s recovery. Our services are highly personalized to each individual’s needs, and can include:

  • Providing medication reminders
  • Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
  • Motivating the individual to stick to a doctor-approved fitness program
  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Offering transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and any other desired outings
  • And much more

Contact us today to learn how an in-home caregiver from Home With You Senior Care can improve safety and wellness for someone you love. You can reach us any time at 410-756-0959. We’re pleased to offer care throughout Ellicott City, Owings Mills, Sykesville, and the neighboring areas.