In just 40 seconds, a U.S. resident has a stroke. Close to 800,000 people have a stroke each year. Not everyone survives a stroke, though there are ways to improve the odds of survival. FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Take Action) is important to know. Here is more information for you and your loved one's elder care provider should know.
The faster the stroke victim gets treatment, the better the odds of survival. It's estimated that getting treated in an emergency room within three hours of the stroke is all it takes to lower the risk of permanent disability. If your mom or dad has a stroke, it's essential to understand what happened and what comes next.
Two Main Types of Strokes
There are two main types of strokes. Around 87 percent of them are caused by blockages and called ischemic strokes. There is another type that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and leaks blood into the brain. A severe, unexplained headache often precedes hemorrhagic strokes.
Some people experience transient ischemic attacks (TIA), which are minor strokes where the blockage resolves itself in a matter of minutes. It's a precursor to a major stroke and requires medical treatment as quickly as possible. Around 33 percent of people who have a TIA and don't seek medical treatment have a major stroke within the next 12 months.
What Happens at the Hospital
The treatment given at the hospital depends on the type of stroke. If it's a brain bleed, your parent may require surgical intervention to fix the ruptured vessel. An ischemic stroke is treated with powerful medications that break up the clot. At that point, the patient will be on blood thinners for life.
The severity of the stroke is also a factor. If the stroke left your parent unable to talk, walk, or swallow, physical, occupational, and speech therapies are needed to restore as much function as possible. Before your parent is sent home, your mom or dad will likely go to a rehabilitation community to restore brain function and mobility.
Swallowing is one of the skills that is usually impacted during a stroke. If your mom or dad cannot swallow, there is a risk of aspiration pneumonia. This occurs when your parent can't swallow saliva properly and ends up inhaling the saliva and mucus into the lungs, where an infection sets in. The infection has to be treated with medications.
Getting the Home Prepared and Elder Care Services
While your parent is recovering in the hospital, it's an excellent time to get the house set up for the return. These are the things to focus on.
Finally, arrange to have elder care aides available to help with household chores, meal preparation, showers/personal care, and transportation. Call our elder care specialist, discuss your parent's health issues, and make sure caregivers are lined up for the day your parent returns home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.