Did you know? Some helpful information about Strokes
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.
Nearly three-quarters of strokes affect people over the age of 65. The risk increases significantly with age in both men and women, with half occurring after age 75, and one third happening after the age of 85.
A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood supply to the brain. There are 3 categories. The most common is an ischemic stroke which is caused by an abrupt blockage of arteries leading to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain tissue. Since stroke occurs rapidly it requires immediate treatment. The third is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) which is like a stroke, producing similar symptoms, but usually lasting only a few minutes and causing no permanent damage so often goes unnoticed. Doctors say you can recognize a stroke by asking 4 simple questions.
1. Ask the person to Smile
2. Ask them to Talk and speak a simple sentence coherently
3. Ask them to Raise both arms
4. Ask them to stick Out their tongue.
If they have trouble with ANY of these tasks call an emergency number at once and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
A easy way to remember this is the first 4 letters of the word S T R O K E, S- Smile,
T- Talk, R- Raise and O-Out.
If you are a caregiver it is important to note that Stroke recovery lasts for at least two years and can be stressful and frustrating. It is crucial that you take care of your own needs. Information is a key element. You need to understand the emotional and behavioral changes that may occur. It is also advisable to have support from the attending physicians and therapists. Caregivers are often prone to a myriad of emotional reactions, fear, guilt, depression, frustration etc. Ask for help and take time each day for yourself. As the saying goes; “you can’t take care of others if you do not take care of yourself.” It is a good idea to find out what resources are available and to use them. You can find many resources on our FAQ page.