Strokes can happen at any age, but seniors are more likely to experience one of these health events. As frightening as the thought of a stroke is, you can help your aging loved one reduce the risk factors by getting his or her blood pressure under control and helping him or her maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, you should also be alert for the signs of a stroke—such as muscular weakness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, and severe headaches—so you can seek immediate medical attention when your loved one needs it. It also helps to be educated regarding strokes so you can make sense of what a physician says about your loved one’s health. Every caregiver should know about these four common types of strokes that affect seniors.
1. Hemorrhagic Stroke
This type of stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel in the brain ruptures and begins to bleed. The pooling blood then begins to place pressure on the parts of the brain where the lesion occurred. There are two main types of blood vessels that can burst and lead to a hemorrhagic stroke: arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms. Once one of these vessels bursts, surgical repair is often necessary to stop the bleeding so the brain can recover.
Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Orlando senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
2. Ischemic Stroke
These strokes are the most common, and they happen when narrowed arteries restrict blood flow to the brain. There are several controllable causes of narrowed arteries. High cholesterol—which can cause fatty plaques to build up in the blood vessels and travel to the brain—is one cause your loved one can control. People who are known to have cardiovascular disease can prevent clots from forming by taking blood thinners. Eating a low-fat diet, avoiding processed foods, and exercising can also help your loved one prevent narrowed arteries from developing.
The effects of a stroke can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without a caregiver close by at all times. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Altamonte Springs live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
3. Transient Ischemic Stroke
You’ve probably heard this type of stroke referred to as a mini-stroke. These are also caused by debris breaking free into the bloodstream and working their way to the brain. However, the symptoms are milder and tend to be more short-lived compared to an ischemic stroke. Keep in mind that transient ischemic strokes can be deadly, and having one or more of these places your loved one at risk of having a more catastrophic stroke in the future. These mini-strokes can also cause damage to the brain cells that manifests as different symptoms, depending on where the damage occurs. For instance, memory loss is common among seniors who have several of these types of strokes.
4. Cryptogenic Stroke
In some cases, it may not be immediately clear what caused the stroke. When this happens, your loved one will need to undergo further testing to try to determine what happened. A medical team will likely be formed to identify the cause so your loved one receives the appropriate treatment. During this time, make sure to keep up with all of your loved one’s appointments, and encourage him or her to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent another stroke from occurring.
Senior stroke survivors often need very specialized care from someone 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 home care. Windermere families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (407) 232-7155 today.