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4 Types of Strokes in the Elderly

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According to the World Health Organization, strokes kill just over five million people every year. These cardiac events can also result in secondary health complications, such as partial paralysis, permanent brain damage, slurred speech, and stiff muscles. While some strokes are caused by genetic defects and disorders, most people can avoid these cardiac events by making some simple lifestyle changes. Here’s a closer look at four of the most common types of strokes and some steps that can be taken to prevent them.

1. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

These attacks are often referred to as “mini-strokes,” and the side effects can be very minimal. However, a TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke, and seniors need to take these attacks very seriously. During a transient ischemic attack, blood won’t be able to get to the brain for just a few minutes. One of the most common symptoms of a TIA is a sudden headache that won’t seem to go away. Seniors might also complain of tingling sensations in the hands and feet. Those who experience TIAs must speak with their doctors about long-term treatments that will reduce the risk of full strokes. 

Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Ft. Lauderdale senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

2. Thrombotic/Embolic Strokes

Around 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic strokes, and those events are the result of blood clots that get stuck inside the brain. A thrombotic stroke occurs when the clot forms in the brain itself. An embolic stroke, on the other hand, takes place when a blood clot from somewhere else in the body makes its way to the brain. One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of an ischemic stroke is to keep cholesterol at a healthy level. Seniors must also keep a close eye on their blood pressure and insulin levels. Essentially, any condition that weakens the cardiovascular system increases the risk of an ischemic stroke.

The effects of a stroke can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without a caregiver close by at all times. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lauderdale-by-the-Sea live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.

3. Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Hemorrhagic strokes aren’t nearly as common as ischemic strokes, but they can be just as deadly. An intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel inside the brain bursts. These strokes often seem like they come out of nowhere, and they almost always impact cognitive abilities. During an intracerebral hemorrhage, seniors might suddenly lose the ability to speak or follow a conversation, which could be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as general weakness and a loss of balance. Keeping blood pressure at a healthy level is the best way to prevent an intracerebral hemorrhage. 

4. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

These strokes are relatively rare, and the symptoms often get worse over the course of several days. When this type of hemorrhage first takes place, it’s common for a senior to become sensitive to light or feel as if he or she is going to faint. As the hemorrhage gets worse, he or she might have a severe headache or find it difficult to stand upright. Subarachnoid hemorrhages are difficult to predict, but most experts agree that high blood pressure and high cholesterol are two of the biggest risk factors. Older adults who notice sudden changes in their eyesight, cognitive abilities, or general strength should immediately head to the emergency room.

Senior stroke survivors often need very specialized care from someone with experience in providing support during stroke recovery. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Galt Ocean Mile families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (954) 909-0370 today.