Know What You’re Facing – Facts About Strokes in the United States
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke.
Every 3.5 minutes, someone dies of stroke.
Every year, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke and about 610,000 of those are first time or new strokes.
Nearly 1 in 4 strokes happen to people who have experienced a stroke previously.
Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability and reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors aged 65 and older.
How to Identify a Stroke
We know these statistics are scary, but there are ways we can prepare and mitigate the damage of stroke. Ideally, we’re already helping those we love make changes to reduce the likelihood of a stroke like:
- Eating healthy
- Getting regular physical activity
- Avoiding cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol
- Managing cholesterol, diabetes, and blood pressure
But what happens if a stroke occurs? Know the signs!
Your best chance at identifying a stroke early is knowing the warning signs. Always remember F.A.S.T.
F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech difficulty
T – Time to call 911
According to the CDC, symptoms of stroke include:
- sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
- sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
CALL 911 RIGHT AWAY IF YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE HAS ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS
How In-Home Care Can Help Stroke Recovery
Stroke recovery can be a challenge, especially because it can greatly limit mobility and lead to other long-term disabilities. One of the best chances at a positive recovery is having a strong support system to keep you or your loved one on track after the stroke event. During recovery, most individuals need quite a bit of help if they plan to stay at home.
Non-medical in-home caregivers can provide an extra layer of trained support, including:
1 – Care and Appointment Coordination and Transportation. Stroke recovery can require numerous appointments including medical follow ups, trips to the pharmacy, working with physical and occupational therapists, visiting a speech therapist, and even seeing mental health professionals. Most of these appointments are likely to take place outside of the home during regular business hours which drastically limits the ability of loved ones to help if they are working full time. An in-home caregiver can not only help coordinate these appointments but help transport patients and act as an extra set of eyes and ears to help remember directions.
2 – Assistance with Daily Routine. Those recovering from stroke often have to relearn how to manage daily activities with new mobility challenges. Non-medical in-home caregivers can help by safely assisting with toileting, bathing, dressing, and grooming. Trained caregivers can help those recovering avoid painful falls and stay on top of important hygiene requirements to keep recovery on track.
3 – Meal Prep and Light Housework. In-home caregivers are also incredible resources for maintaining a healthy and safe home environment for people recovering from stroke. By helping with tasks like laundry, light cleaning, and meal prep, in-home caregivers reduce hazards in the home and can help ensure a nutritious diet to aide in recovery.
4 – Socialization & Companionship. Managing life after a stroke can feel overwhelming, isolating, and defeating. It’s crucial that those recovering have a support system on hand to spend time with in order help them cope. Loneliness and inactivity have been shown to exacerbate post-stroke depression and prevent people from properly following their care plan. Having an in-home caregiver at their side during recovery offers a set of open ears, a gentle touch, and a healing smile. Never underestimate the power of kindness in recovery.
5 – Respite for Family Caregivers. Because strokes can happen so suddenly, many times, family members are not prepared to step in and take on the role of caregiving. Proper care requires attention, time, and training and most family members do not have the resources, experience, or schedules to accommodate these new needs. Non-medical in-home caregivers can offer these family members an extra layer of support, subbing in to allow family caregivers time to rest and restore.
Helping You in Recovery and Beyond
While we sincerely hope you and your family never have to experience a stroke, we are here to offer our support with understanding, compassion, and dignity. Our trained caregivers are on hand to help you or your loved one re-adjust to their schedule and their home. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local ameriCARE.