After a stroke, there’s nothing more important than preventing a second one. “The risk of a stroke is tenfold higher in someone who has had a stroke in the past,” says Larry B. Goldstein, MD, director of the Duke Stroke Center. This fact alone can be enough to inspire lasting change in lifestyle among senior stroke survivors.
When it comes to stroke prevention, there are three main things you need to do: know your risk factors, address your health concerns, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Today, Denton County Home Care Assistance is going to look into these categories so that senior stroke survivors and families have the knowledge necessary to reduce stroke risk.
Know the Risk Factors
If your aging parent or loved one has recently had a stroke, his or her doctor is an important ally during the recovery process. There are many factors that contribute to stroke, and knowing where your loved one lies is vital to creating and implementing necessary lifestyle changes. Some of these include:
- Atrial fibrillation
- High blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- High alcohol consumption
Address Health Concerns
If your aging parent or loved one has high blood pressure or high cholesterol, talk to his or her doctor about prescriptions available to manage the condition. Diabetics should be extra vigilant about keeping their blood sugar within their acceptable range. Seniors should consider taking aspirin or a blood thinner as a prophylactic, under the guidance of their doctor. Seniors should also be exceptionally careful that they take their medicine exactly as directed, and report any signs or symptoms if the prescription may not be working.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Good health is a choice that your loved one will make daily, especially when he or she is trying to prevent stroke recurrence. Things like alcohol and smoking should be avoided for their obvious health concerns. Keeping the heart healthy is also a must. Seniors should up their consumption of foods proven to increase heart health, like fruits, veggies, foods high in fiber, and foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Seniors should also try to spend at least 30 minutes a day exercising at a level high enough to elevate heart rate. This will also help your loved one maintain a healthy weight, lowering his or her risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, all major factors of stroke risk as well.
Most of all, watch for symptoms of another stroke. Immediate medical attention is the only viable option for treatment and is critical to reduce permanent brain damage. Learn the signs and call 911 immediately if you suspect your aging loved one may be having a stroke. If you are unable to provide care to your loved one on an around the clock basis, it may be necessary to have a professional Denton County live-in caregiver with your loved one, at least during the initial part of the recovery process, to ensure overall safety.
For more information about professional in-home stroke care in Denton County, call 972-468-6010 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Home Care Assistance Care Manager.