February is Heart Month, and that means lots of talk in the news and other media about heart disease and high blood pressure. But this year we wanted to take this time to talk a little about stroke, another medical condition that has many of the same risk factors as heart disease. While many people associate strokes with high cholesterol, high blood pressure can also lead to stroke.
Some of the risk factors for stroke include:
· High blood pressure
· Heart and blood vessel diseases
· High LDL cholesterol
Know the Signs
It is important to act fast if you suspect someone you know is experiencing a stroke. Immediate treatment can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death. That’s where the F.A.S.T. acronym comes into play, helping you remember the signs and symptoms of a stroke while encouraging immediate action.
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face drop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift down? Or are the unable to raise it at all?
Speech: Is their speech slurred or strange?
Time: Seek help, and immediately call 911.
Caring for a Stroke Patient at Home
We always want what’s best for our loved ones, and often in the weeks and months following a stroke, the best place to recover is in the comfort of one’s own home. But often a stroke will leave a person with mobility issues or other side effects that make independent living a challenge, at least for the short-term.
Piedmont Home Care is the perfect place to turn when you’re finding the best way to care for your loved ones at home after a stroke. Whether you’re looking for in-home care, or respite care to relieve the primary caregiver for a few hours a week, our talented, compassionate staff is available to help.
Some of the most important things to consider when caring for a stroke patient include:
Regular exercise. Recovery happens slowly, and it is important to maintain a good schedule of exercises to improve mobility.
Daily living activities. Every patient reacts to a stroke in different ways, but many will experience some form of paralysis or loss of movement, at least temporarily. Simple things like getting dressed or eating a meal become a challenge after a stroke.
Be careful of falls. Whether it’s due to paralysis or an increased risk of a second stroke, patients recovering from stroke are a high fall risk. Take time to make sure fall risks are minimized in the home before bringing the stroke patient home. This includes installing a bench and/or bars in the shower and checking to make sure all rugs are securely in place.
Push through the plateau. It may seem that after a few months, your loved one is not making any progress in their recovery. Don’t give up. The brain is capable of changing and healing for years after a stroke. It’s important to keep going with the exercises and encouragement, especially when things start to get a little tough.
If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke and would like to recover at home, make the call to Piedmont Home Care today. We can work with you to meet whatever needs for home care you might have. We provide an extensive list of services, including medication management and help with meals, in addition to being what you need most – a compassionate caregiver.