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Stroke Prevention: A Top Priority

by Shannon, April 09, 2019

Stroke Prevention: A Top Priority

If you’re like most people, you know the importance of planning. It’s essential to plan for the future, but have you put in some thought about steps you can take to prevent a stroke?

Strokes affect nearly 800,00 people in the U.S. each year, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This staggering statistic means that a stroke is more likely than you realize.

Care Indeed is committed to not only providing high-quality live-in and hourly care, we also believe it’s essential to educate our caregivers and clients. Our mission is to focus on how certain diseases and conditions affect our clients so we can better serve those afflicted with these ailments.

As we continue with our series on Strokes , Navigating the aftermath of a Stroke it’s crucial that stroke victims, caregivers and family members are aware of steps they can take to prevent a stroke, recognize risk factors and take preventative measures to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Warning Signs

When a stroke occurs, your brain is neglected of much-needed oxygen, also known as a brain attack. In some cases, individuals experiencing a stroke are plagued with the following warning signs that occur suddenly:

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body that affects your face, legs or arms
  • Trouble with vision in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty speaking, understanding speech and confusion
  • Severe headaches without a known cause
  • A loss of balance, coordination that leads to dizziness and trouble walking

Additional warning signs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Double Vision
  • Drowsiness

You may not experience all of these warning signs and some may be less severe than others if a stroke is occurring. In the case of mini strokes, some individuals experience stroke symptoms for just a brief moment, which causes people to ignore the signs. Paying attention to these warning signs and consulting with a physician can ultimately save a life.

Knowing the Risks

It’s important to understand common risk factors for a stroke. If you fall under one of these categories, it gives you the knowledge and know-how to heed warning signs and make lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, common risk factors include:

  • Gender: On average, men are at more risk for a stroke than women, although strokes can occur in both genders. More specifically, men are more at risk for a stroke at young and middle ages while women are more at risk for a stroke at older ages.
  • Age: While a stroke can occur at any age, most studies reveal that the risk of having a stroke doubles for each decade you are alive, especially between the ages of 55 and 85.
  • Family History: Although it is not scientifically verified, families with a history of stroke may be more susceptible, especially if certain family members have a genetic tendency for the risk factors. These risk factors include diabetes and high blood pressure. Lifestyle habits that are common within families can also contribute to the risk of experiencing a stroke.
  • Race: Certain ethnic groups are more at risk of experiencing strokes. Particularly, African Americans experience more strokes during young and middle ages than other ethnic groups. The risk is also higher for Hispanic Americans more so than Caucasians.

Preventative Measures to Reduce the Risk

While you may not be able to completely eliminate your risk for a stroke, there are some lifestyle changes and preventative measures you can take.

Harvard Health recommends the following:

  • Lower Your Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can significantly impact your risk of having a stroke and is often the biggest contributor for both men and women. You should strive to maintain a blood pressure reading that is less than 135/85 at all times. Additional ways to reduce blood pressure include minimizing salt intake, ramping up exercise efforts, taking blood pressure medication and refraining from smoking.
  • Drink in Moderation: Harvard Health cites studies that show if you have one drink of alcohol per day, you may be able to reduce your risk of a stroke, but primarily, drinking in moderation or not at all is the healthiest approach. The key is to watch portion sizes, make red wine the first choice and limit alcohol intake to just one glass each day.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity can significantly increase your risk of experiencing a stroke, among other health complications. Ideally, you should maintain a body mass index that is 25 or less to reduce your risk. In order to maintain a healthy weight, take measures to limit your calorie intake to 2,000 each day.
  • Increase Exercise: It’s no secret that exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, but it can also lower your blood pressure and help reduce your risk of a stroke. It is recommended that individuals participate in exercise at least five days a week.

Utilizing Care Indeed’s Support Services

If you or a loved one have experienced a stroke or at significant risk of a stroke, you need support, resources and compassion to navigate this condition. Care Indeed professionals are here for you.

Support and care is essential as you cope with the reality of a stroke. Care Indeed professionals are highly-trained to assist with mobility, hygiene, transportation and companionship regardless of your condition or disease. We offer local resources for our clients and their families to help you understand the level of care you need. In addition, our professional caregivers are available to help you with daily tasks to ease the rehabilitation process after a stroke.

Life after a stroke can be challenging, but it is possible to improve your overall quality of life. While you may struggle with the changes as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.

Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need after a stroke today.  

Topics: Stroke Series