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Be F.A.S.T. With Stroke Awareness | Generations Home Care
Use F.A.S.T to spot the early symptoms of stroke

It’s always a great time to learn the symptoms of a stroke because “time lost is brain lost.” When every second counts, people must act F.A.S.T when they spot the signs of stroke and summon help immediately. 

Stroke, often known as a “brain attack,”  usually occurs when a blood clot gets stuck in a blood vessel, blocking the blood supply to the brain and damaging the brain tissue. Damage to the brain can cause the reduction or loss of a person’s ability to speak, see, or move. 

Though 80% of strokes are preventable, stroke is the number five killer in the U.S. Knowing the symptoms of stroke could save a life, and when it comes to identifying, treating, and caring for someone experiencing stroke, every second counts. 

F.A.S.T. Treatment is Key

Because timely treatment is critical for good outcomes, the acronym F.A.S.T. was developed to help people easily remember and identify the most common symptoms of stroke. When you can identify quickly, you can act quickly and call 911!

Use The Letters F.A.S.T. to identify a stroke.

F=Face Drooping

A=Arm Weakness

S=Speech Difficulty

T=Time to Call 911

Other symptoms of stroke include a sudden onset of one or more of these symptoms:

  • Numbness
  • Confusion
  • Trouble Seeing
  • Trouble Walking
  • Severe Headache

As with heart attacks, though, women can also experience more subtle signs, including “general weakness, disorientation and confusion, memory loss, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.” These symptoms are subtle enough to ignore but can lead to delays in time-sensitive treatments. If you are a caregiver for someone at risk of stroke, don’t let them talk you out of calling 911 if you suspect a problem.

Who is at Risk?

While stroke can occur in anyone, women in the U.S. are more susceptible. In fact, stroke is the fourth highest cause of death for women and kills more women than men overall. Some additional risk factors for women include hormone replacement therapy, migraines with aura, and Atrial Fibrillation, particularly in women over the age of 75.

Prevention Tips

Stroke is a serious medical concern. However there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, no matter your age. Here are the top risk factors for stroke that you can directly affect with behavior changes:

  1. Smoking: Smoking is one of the top risk factors for stroke. If you are a smoker, there are resources to support your efforts to quit
  2. High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke but the most significant controllable risk factor. Know your numbers and learn how to manage your blood pressure. 
  3. Diabetes: If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, controlling your blood sugar will directly impact your stroke risk. Diabetes also increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Taking steps to control each one of these factors also impacts your stroke risk.
  4. Diet: Diets containing five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day may reduce the risk of stroke. Eating patterns similar to a Mediterranean diet may also help ward off stroke.
  5. Exercise: Make plans to move your body. There are many benefits to regular movement, including reducing stroke risk.

How to Get Involved

Have you assessed your risk for stroke? Take the steps needed to reduce that risk.

Is your risk low? Then, make sure you know the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke so that you are ready to assess and react if someone around is in distress. Take the “Spot the Signs” quiz and put your knowledge to the test.

Despite all of the prevention measures, some people will still experience stroke and need care and support during their recovery. There are resources available to help you provide the best supportive care to your loved one. 

About Generations Home Care

Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.

Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.

Our Specialty Services Include:

  • Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
  • Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
  • Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
  • Veteran’s connection to care program.
  • Live-in services and couples care.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.

About the author - Josh Friesen

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