A woman lifts hand weights as part of an exercise routine to help her lower stroke risk.

Experiencing a stroke is just the first step in a series of challenges. The results of a stroke can last for a long time. In fact, the National Institute on Aging marks stroke as the top cause of disability in older adults in the U.S.

As with other serious medical conditions, prevention is essential.

How Can Older Adults Lower Stroke Risk?

The good news is that there are many proactive measures that can be taken to lower stroke risk, including:

  • Following a healthy diet. Incorporate foods that are low in fat and cholesterol and include plenty of veggies and fruits at each meal.
  • Managing diabetes. Diabetes, when not properly managed, can damage blood vessels and narrow arteries, which can result in stroke.
  • Watching blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Hypertension and high levels of cholesterol can both lead to heart disease and/or stroke.
  • Routinely exercising. The doctor can provide specific recommendations and guidelines on the best exercise program for the individual.
  • Quitting—or never starting—smoking. Smoking greatly increases the risk of a stroke.

These lifestyle changes can go a long way towards lowering the possibility 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’s important to know the signs and to act immediately. Time is of the essence, and getting medical care right away can save a life.

Signs of a stroke include:

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

What Will the Stroke Recovery Process Involve?

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

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

The objective of all of these rehabilitative therapies is to help the person maximize independence and self-sufficiency.

The Role of In-Home Care

A home care provider, like Inspired Home Care, is an important part of both helping a person lower stroke risk and assisting with a stroke survivor’s recovery. Our services are highly customized to each individual’s needs, and can include:

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

Contact us today to find out how an in-home caregiver from Inspired Home Care can enhance safety and wellness for someone you love. You can reach us any time at 847-787-7572. We’re pleased to offer care throughout Arlington Heights, Algonquin, Buffalo Grove, and the surrounding areas.