Strokes in Seniors May Be Prevented 

Strokes in seniors can be absolutely devastating, but if you catch them in time, the damage be controlled, or in some cases, eradicated.

As we walk through this aging process we have all had family, friends, and neighbors who have suffered some type of a stroke.

They can be range in degrees of damage from mild to severe, and we have all seen and heard several times the FAST acronym.

  • Face—look at their face immediately and ask them to smile. Can they smile naturally or does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms—ask them to raise both arms. If one arm raises downward or will not raise, this is a tell-tell sign
  • Speech--ask them to speak and ask them their name—is their speech blurred?
  • Time—Time is CRITICAL. There is no way to emphasis how important time is.

Here is our firsthand experience with this though our journey of life and aging.

I have mentioned on several of this websites pages, that we took my wife’s mother into our home and became caregivers when she was 76 years old.

She was in Hospice care and was given only 30-60 days to live and was experiencing Sundowning that was quite severe.

After we got that resolved and reached out and got two second opinions from the Mayo Clinic and Shands hospital in Jacksonville Florida about her actual survival chances, we now wanted to focus on her past stroke.

Although she was only given 30-60 days to live originally from doctors in Idaho, the Florida doctors disagreed and she lived with us for another 7 years

However, did suffer a second stroke about one year after coming with us.

The first stroke was a “right side stroke” and severely damaged her left arm and hand. Her hand was literally frozen and she could not move it at all.  

Her Warning Signs Of Strokes in Seniors

The warning signs of any kind of strokes in seniors are universal and may hit rapidly, or they may slowly start to show up. They include the following:

  • A slow or sudden problem speaking as well as understanding
  • Numbness of the face, arms , or legs that can cause you to fall or collapse
  • Trouble seeing in one eye or both eyes if severe
  • Slow developing headaches, dizziness, and vomiting
  • Trouble walking and a sudden loss of balance.

My wife’s mother suffered her 2nd of her stokes in seniors about a year after she had moved in with us.

After we controlled her sundowning, she was walking quite well with her walker and getting around just fine.

However, because we were aware of her 1st stroke, we had printed and actually taped the above symptoms in her bath room so she could see them and we could look at it daily as a reminder.

If you do become a caregiver, I recommend this very highly for one simple reason: constant awareness.

I have no idea what the odds are for a repeat of strokes in seniors but we were told that it was a very real and district possibility.

Couple Eating TogetherCouple Eating Together

3 Hours is All You Have

However, after getting advise from some great doctors in these two great medical institutions, they told us to add one other phrase, and put it in BOLD on our listing-(3) THREE HOURS!

We were also told that there are new experimental drugs that could have dramatic impacts on a stroke victim, but there was only a (3) three hour time frame for it to be effective.

This (3) hour time frame includes the time the any kind of strokes in seniors actually hit, to the time the professionals can treat the symptoms. 

On a Saturday afternoon around 1:00 PM I was outside mowing the yard and my wife came out screaming. I went inside and my mother in law was on the floor and we tested her.

We looked at her with the chart on the wall and the left side of her face was drooping, she could not raise or move her left leg, and she could not say her name as she was blurring anything she was trying to say.

At this point we estimated that 10-15 minutes had passed, and immediately called 911 and told them this was the 2nd stroke and she was on the experimental list at Shands.

Research is Critical

We had done a tremendous amount of research on strokes in seniors, and fully understood exactly what they are.

We knew that a stroke reduces the flow of blood and nutrients to the brain, or worse yet, severely compromises this flow. Once this occurs, your brain is deprived of nutrients as well as oxygen.

Without this supply, within just a matter of minutes, your brain cells will start to die. It is because of this the (3) three hours time frame is critical.

There are several lifestyle and medical factors that can cause a stroke and they include being overweight, binge drinking, smoking, and drugs.

However some of the most common causes of strokes are high blood pressure, family history, high cholesterol, diabetes, and age. She had 3 of these four common causes.

Here is What Actually Happened

Here is what happened to her

  • Because of our readiness she was in the hospital and was treated in 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • She had no damage at all from this stroke
  • Some of the damages from the first stroke were reversed.
  • Her frozen had on her left side basically “unfroze” to where she could actualy grip some things for the first time in years.  

Strokes in seniors can be devastating or they can be controlled and contained.

Just remember, you only have a (3) hour window to react.

References

Mayo Clinic -Strokes

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/home/ovc-20117264

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