Know the signs and what to do to help a loved one this Stroke Awareness Month 2021
May is Stroke Awareness Month, so to mark the occasion we have put together a guide to help you identify the signs of a stroke, give you all the information on what you should do and discuss the recovery, rehabilitation and care process for stroke survivors. Every year 100,000 people will have a stroke, meaning there are more than 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK, according to charity Stroke Association.
Recovery from a stroke will vary for each individual because it affects everyone differently – this is why specialist care and rehabilitation is so important. Rehabilitation starts as soon as possible after a stroke to give the best chance of recovery.
At Good Oaks Home Care, we know this can be a worrying time for you and your loved ones. We can hep provide long and short term live-in and visiting care to help with the recovery process. You can contact us here to book a stroke care assessment.
What is a stroke?
The NHS states that a stroke is a serious life-threatening condition where the blood supply is cut off to part of the brain. They are classed as a medical emergency and if you are concerned that you or a loved one is having a stroke, you should call 999 immediately.
There are two causes of strokes, either a blood vessel in the brain can burst or a blood vessel is obstructed by a blood clot. In either case, the outcome is that blood supply is limited to a part of the brain and damage occurs due to this lack of oxygen and nutrients. Mini strokes can also happen, whereby they last between a few minutes and a few hours, where oxygen supply is temporarily stopped. This can be a waning sign that a stroke can happen so this condition should never be ignored.
How to a prevent stroke?
Strokes are more likely to affect those who are over 55, who are overweight or have high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes can help to reduce the stroke risk. If you are concerned, speak to your GP about changes that can be implemented to try and prevent a stroke.
What are the signs of a stroke?
The NHS reminds everyone to act FAST. This acronym is a really important guide to spotting and reporting a stroke.
Face – Has a person’s face fallen, can they smile? Are they able to move their facial muscles?
Arms – Can the person lift their arms and keep them there?
Speech – Is their speech slurred or are they having trouble communicating?
Time – If the above applies, it’s time to call 999.
Because strokes can affect different parts of the brain that govern different functions, there can be a host of other symptoms including confusion, dizziness, blacking out, loss of balance or ability to stand.
What should I do? Remember FAST
If you think either you or a loved one are experiencing a stroke or mini stroke, do not delay, call 999.
What is the process to recover from a stroke?
Recovery from experiencing a stroke is as varied as the person that survives it, and doctors will work with you to suggest the best possible care plan for you or your loved one. Treatment options include medications to prevent future strokes by reducing blood pressure and clot risks, surgery and rehabilitation specialist help. For example physiotherapy and occupational therapy can help when learning to walk again and will allow you to have greater freedom of movement and independence.
Many people that have a stroke will experience feelings of anger, bewilderment, anxiety and depression. In which case doctors may be able to help by referring you or your loved one to counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.
What specialist stroke care can Good Oaks Home Care provide?
We realise that having a loved one or experiencing a stroke yourself can be a scary experience. We can provide specialist stroke care in the comfort of your home. We work with you or your loved ones’ doctors and care team to provide care that is tailored to the individual case, as every stroke survivor is different and has different needs.
We can provide short term care for mild stroke or long-term care for severe strokes. After a stroke you or your loved one may have spent time in hospital recovering and so may find cognitive and mobility functions have been impacted when you return home. We can help on their road to recovery. Our after-stroke care teams can help with the psychological impact of a stroke as well, providing a listening ear.
Our services include helping with:
Food preparation and help with eating food
Assistance with medication
Help moving around the home and general mobility
Memory games to improve cognitive impairment
Help with going to the toilet and continence problems
Help getting washed and dressed
Helping to repair physiological damage through physiotherapy
Help with stroke rehabilitation
Helping to reduce any risk of another stroke
For more information about our stroke care work, click here, and to get in touch to find out how we can help in your individual care, contact us here.