More than 100,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the UK.
What if we tell you that 90% of these strokes can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes?
Surprised? Don’t be. Recent research claims that 9 in every 10 stroke cases could be prevented by modifying primary risk factors.
What are those risk factors? Is preventing stroke as simple as this research suggests? We’re going to talk about all this right here in this post.
Whether you’re a primary caregiver or work in any elderly companionship services in the U.K., this post will help you move in the right direction.
Stroke – Causes and Symptoms
By definition, a stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This results in an inadequate supply of oxygen to brain tissues, leading to the death of brain cells.
Seek immediate medical attention:
- If the elderly you’re living with is experiencing trouble speaking or numbness of the face, arm, or leg
- If the elderly are having a problem seeing in one or both eyes, blurred vision
- It the elderly are experiencing severe headaches accompanied by extreme dizziness and unconsciousness
- Losing balance or control
- Slurred speech
The stroke can be either an ischemic stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke.
Ischemic stroke happens when the blood vessels inside the brain are blocked. This is due to the fatty deposits or clots that travel through vessels and create blockage in the blood vessels in your brain.
When blood vessels in your brain are leaked or ruptured, it increases your risk of having a Hemorrhagic stroke. Wondering what causes your blood vessels to leak or rupture?
Some possible reasons might include:
- Excessive use of anticoagulants
- High blood pressure
- When untreated, Ischemic stroke may also lead to hemorrhagic stroke
Here are a few things you can do to reduce your elderly’s risk of having a stroke:
Maintain healthy weight
Being overweight means your elderly are already at a higher risk of so many diseases – blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, stroke, and cholesterol are to name a few.
The first and most important thing you can do to keep your elderly away from the risk of stroke is to help them reduce their weight. This is only possible when you’re able to balance the number of calories your patient consumes with the amount of workout or physical activity they do each day to burn those calories.
Basic exercises, such as walking, swimming, yoga, and meditation will help the elderly reduce their weight and live a healthy and prolonged life.
Maintain a healthy diet
As they say, you’re what you eat. To reduce the risk of stroke in the elderly, the best you can do is to help them switch from unhealthy eating habits to a balanced and nutritious diet.
Choose a diet that is a perfect mix of meat, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Healthy fats are essential. So include as much as you can in your elderly’s diet. Ditch unhealthy snacks and opt for healthier alternatives, such as nuts, fruits, cereals, and more.
Reduce alcohol consumption
Alcohol consumption thins the blood. Seniors who binge drink and smoke are at a higher risk of hemorrhage stroke.
This is because the combination of nicotine and alcohol can thicken up the blood, causing clots to blood vessels.
Limit alcohol consumption to a maximum of two drinks for men (one for women). It is better to use red wine, which is thought to be a safer alternative to other toxic drinks.
Start an aspirin therapy
Using a daily low-dose aspirin can also reduce the risk of stroke in the elderly. But because aspirin is prohibited for several conditions, make sure you talk with the doctor before incorporating it into the senior’s routine.
Identify risk factors
As mentioned above, many medical conditions contribute to a higher risk of stroke. These conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, and cholesterol.
Pay close attention to these issues and try to manage and control them at any cost as they increase the likelihood of stroke in the elderly.
Some psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, also contribute to a higher likelihood of stroke.
Remember, the best thing you can do to keep seniors away from illnesses is to keep them happy. Engage them with activities they love.
Provide them with books if they love reading. Take them out if they like spending time outdoors. Spend time with them and let them connect with their loved ones.
Learn to Act Fast
Be ready to act fast if you observe any of the symptoms we have discussed above. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging for some seniors, trained elderly companion care can definitely help them attain their health objectives.