A woman uses hand weights to keep in shape. Exercising is one of the top strategies for stroke prevention in older adults.

Suffering a stroke is only the first step in a series of challenges. The resulting effects from a stroke can linger long-term. In fact, the National Institute on Aging lists stroke as the top source of disability in older adults.

As with other serious health conditions, prevention is crucial.

What Are Some Strategies for Stroke Prevention?

The good news is that there are many proactive strategies for stroke prevention, including:

  • Following a healthy diet plan. Focus on eating foods that are low in cholesterol and fat, including plenty of vegetables and fruit.
  • Watching blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can both lead to heart disease and/or stroke.
  • Quitting—or never starting—smoking. Smoking significantly raises the risk of a stroke.
  • Routinely exercising. The doctor can offer specific recommendations and guidelines on the best exercise program for the individual.
  • Managing diabetes. Diabetes, when not properly managed, can damage blood vessels and narrow arteries, which can result in stroke.

These lifestyle changes can go a long way towards lowering the chance of stroke, and can also help prevent a second stroke if the person has already experienced one.

What Are the Signs of a Stroke?

If, in spite of taking the steps outlined above, a person does have a stroke, it is important to understand the signs and to act immediately. Time is of the essence, and getting medical care right away can be lifesaving.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, or trouble walking
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, especially in the arm, leg, or face
  • An extreme headache that develops for no known reason
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden vision problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion

What Will the Stroke Recovery Process Involve?

Recovery from a stroke begins with therapy. This may include speech therapy, physical therapy, and/or occupational therapy, depending on how the person has been affected.

  • A physical therapist will help the individual restore basic skills such as sitting, standing, walking, and transitional activities.
  • An occupational therapist aids in retraining on activities of daily living that could have been compromised, such as taking a shower or bath, getting dressed, preparing meals, drinking, eating, etc.
  • A speech therapist supports the recovery of speaking as well as understanding what others are saying.

The goal of these rehabilitative therapies is to help the person increase independence and self-sufficiency.

The Role of In-Home Care

A home care agency, like Compassionate Nursing Services, is an integral part of both helping a person prevent a stroke and assisting with a stroke survivor’s recovery. Our home care services are highly personalized to each individual’s needs, and can include:

  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and any other desired outings
  • Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
  • Motivating the person to stick to a doctor-approved fitness program
  • Providing medication reminders
  • And more

Contact us today to learn how an in-home caregiver from Compassionate Nursing Services can enhance wellness and safety for someone you love. You can reach us any time at 314-432-4312. We’re happy to offer care throughout Oakville, Des Peres, Town and Country, and the surrounding areas.