Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Signs of a Stroke

Signs of a Stroke: Act FAST

Senior care providers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, have witnessed numerous strokes. As a result, they know the importance of understanding when a stroke is taking place—and how to respond. Elder care providers should be well-versed in the warning signs of a stroke, as quick action makes a significant difference in the prognosis of the victim.

Here are five stroke symptoms to look out for:

  1. Numbness in the face, arm, or leg (this includes weakness in these areas)
  2. Confusion, difficulty speaking, or a hard time understanding others
  3. Vision impairment in one or both eyes
  4. Difficulty walking or maintaining balance; dizziness and loss of coordination
  5. A severe headache with no apparent cause

All of these symptoms appear extremely suddenly. Once they strike, it is imperative that stroke victims receive medical attention right away.

Dealing with this kind of an emergency situation can be overwhelming. Learning the basic stroke symptoms, listed above, can help you detect the tell tale signs. But when your adrenaline is pumping, remembering these signs can seem next to impossible. To help you remember what to do in case your elderly loved one has a stroke, memorize this acronym: FAST.

  • F: If you suspect a stroke, ask the elderly individual to smile. Does one side of their face react while the other droops?
  • A: When the individual lifts both of their arms, do they go up evenly? Stroke victims will often have one arm that stays lower than the other.
  • S: Speech is a commonly impaired capability when a stroke occurs. Ask the potential stroke victim to repeat a very simple sentence. Are they able to do it, or is their speech slurred or otherwise abnormal?
  • T: Getting help in a timely manner is crucial to the health of your elderly loved one. Call 9-1-1 immediately if any of these signs occur.

Strokes are sudden, jarring conditions that can threaten the life of your elderly loved one. As a result, it is important that you remember these symptoms and act quickly if they develop. To learn more about strokes, visit the National Stroke Association’s website at

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