May is Stroke Awareness Month. Surprisingly, strokes are a leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. The odds may seem are high, but surprisingly 80% of all strokes can be prevented. By eating right, ensuring your blood pressure is in range, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising are just a few of the ways to lower your risk for stroke.
When it comes to a stroke, it is imperative to act F.A.S.T., because the faster you are treated, the better the odds you have that you can recover without permanent disability.
So what does FAST actually stand for?
F.A.S.T. is really just an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:
Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Besides just recognizing the signs of F.A.S.T., there are a few other stroke symptoms you can to look for. They include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Be sure to check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. Again, timing is everything when it comes to strokes. The faster they are treated the better the outcomes.
How can ANS Help After a Stroke has occurred?
If your loved one has had a stroke and you need qualified care giving staff to help, know that ANS is here to help. Our staff provides services in the comfort of their own home. By recovering at home with services such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, skilled nursing, personal care services and homemaking needs your loved one will not only be more comfortable in a familiar place, but they will recover quicker. Just give us a call at 1-800-HOMECARE or learn more about our comprehensive in home health services at http://www.anshomecare.com.