Even though strokes sometimes come without warning, seniors and their caregivers can take preventive measures to help reduce the risk. The experienced staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Palm Beach senior care, offers these tips on how you can prevent your senior loved one from having a stroke.
Treat Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) causes the heart’s upper two chambers to beat out of synch with the lower two. It is important to have your loved one tested for Afib, as he or she may develop blood clots that travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Treatment may involve a combination of oral medication and/or surgical intervention.
Control Blood Sugar
If your loved one experiences unexplained lethargy after meals, as well as increased thirst and urination, he or she may want to get tested for diabetes. It is important to keep the blood sugar levels under control, as diabetes can significantly increase the risk of stroke.
Smoking increases blood thickness and causes inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries, which can result in the formation of blood clots. Consequently, smoking increases the risk of both types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.
Implement a Low Sodium, Low Cholesterol Diet
High cholesterol can lead to blood vessel disease and too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, both of which can put your loved one at greater risk for strokes. Eating a diet low in sodium and cholesterol can reduce the pro-inflammatory effects of these substances on the body. Ask your loved one to eat oats, walnuts, and greens, which tend to thin the blood.
Watch for Warning Signs of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
It is vital to know the warning signs of a TIA, which include sudden unilateral weakness, visual distortions, and slurred speech. Many of these symptoms are similar to those of a stroke, but may be of a shorter duration and intensity. Though TIAs generally cause no brain damage, they can be serious warning signs of future strokes.
Taking preventive measures may help keep your loved one from having a stroke, but no method is foolproof. If a stroke does occur, he or she may require professional caregiving services for rehabilitation. For specialized stroke care in Palm Beach, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our custom stroke care plans include support in physical, occupational, and speech therapy, medication reminders, and transportation for follow-up appointments and we guarantee 100% satisfaction for our customers. Call us at 561.429.8292 to schedule a free in-home consultation.