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Combating Stroke: A Guide For Elderly People

Combating Stroke: A Guide For Elderly People

Stroke is a serious ailment in the modern world and it is especially detrimental for elderly people, as it most often occurs after the age of 65.

Many elderly people are left incapacitated by this condition and might require the services of a live-in personal assistant.

But, we are getting ahead of ourselves.

In order to successfully combat stroke, first we need to understand what it is, how it occurs, what can be done once it happens and how to prevent it.

Defining Stroke

Stroke occurs once the blood flow to the brain is cut off and oxygen is no longer being transported to the brain.

Oxygen is extremely important for the brain as it consumes 20% of the body’s total oxygen supply while it weighs around 2% of the total body mass.

Once there is no oxygen for the brain, brain cells become damaged or even die off and symptoms that occur are called a stroke.

These symptoms might include the inability to move or feel on one side of the body, problems understanding or speaking, dizziness or loss of vision to one side.

The main risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure.

Other risk factors aretobacco smoking, obesity, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, a previous transitory ischemic attack (which is the main warning sign), and atrial fibrillation.

There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. The former means there is a blockage in the blood vessel preventing the flow of blood (and oxygen to the brain), while the latter involves a ruptured blood vessel that causes bleeding and damage to the surrounding brain tissue.

Now that we are familiar with the basics, it is time to see what occurs during a stroke and what can be done about it.

Acting F-A-S-T

As is the case with most medical urgencies, time is of the essence.

In the case of stroke, time is even more important, as waiting too long to provide adequate medical care may result in irreparable brain damage.

Luckily, a personal assistant for elderly people is a common thing nowadays. It is important for them to remember four key things when witnessing a person having a stroke:

  1. F - Face: is there face drooping on one side, can they smile?
  2. A - Arms: is there weakness in the arms, can they lift them both up?
  3. S - Speech: is their speech slurred?
  4. T - Time: if you spot any one of these signs, then it’s time to call an ambulance!

Responsiveness is essential in this scenario, so it should be on top of your list of what to look for in a personal assistant.


Once the elderly person gets to the hospital, a doctor will do a brain scan to determine the full extent of the damage.

Depending on which area of the brain was most affected by the stroke, different symptoms may occur.

Sometimes, the blockage-busting medication is administered (especially during the first few hours of an ischemic stroke).

On the other hand, a hemorrhagic stroke (with bleeding and swelling) might require a surgical approach.

In addition to all of this, lifelong pharmaceutical therapy  is also needed to prevent similar episodes from happening again.


The effects of a stroke can be disabling, but given time, the brain can slowly recover to regain some previously lost abilities.

This is why stroke rehabilitation is of paramount importance.

It can be challenging, but many specialists are available to assist doctors and nurses during this process.

Some of these specialists include:

  1. Speech and language therapists for communication problems
  2. Dieticians for people who have trouble swallowing
  3. Physiotherapists can offer exercises and home adaptations
  4. Live-in personal assistants who can help with performing daily tasks

Furthermore, counseling and patient groups can be extremely helpful in order for elderly people to become fully reintegrated into society.

However, about a third of people who had a stroke never fully recover and have lifelong consequences which manifest themselves as various disabilities.

An assistant for old people who need care is imperative if the quality of life is to be maintained.


While therapy and rehabilitation are both valid options in the case of stroke, prevention is still crucial.

So, what can we do to prevent them from happening?

As we mentioned earlier, there are many risk factors that may contribute to stroke.

Therefore, paying attention to these and avoiding harmful habits might be life-saving.

There are many small steps that can be taken in order to reduce the chance of stroke occurring:

  1. Lowering high blood pressure - the main cause of stroke
  2. Lowering cholesterol by taking statins
  3. Eating healthy
  4. Lowering alcohol consumption to within recommended limits
  5. Stopping smoking
  6. In the case of diabetes: carefully managing blood sugar levels
  7. Being more active

All these activities can be very difficult to keep track of, especially for elderly people.

That is why a live-in personal assistant can prove invaluable for preventing stroke in a potentially life-saving scenario.


Ageing is inevitable. And with ageing, some things are more likely to occur - stroke included.

However, this doesn’t mean that elderly people should just give up and wait for the inevitable to happen. As this guide states, there are many things that can be done in order to prevent and adequately treat stroke.

And with modern medicine advancing beyond our wildest dreams, stroke is becoming more manageable by the minute.

Also, in this interconnected world we find ourselves in, it is now easier than ever for elderly people to get the assistance and care they need.

For example, hiring a personal assistant for elderly people is a significant part of improving their quality of life. In addition to that, they can also keep track of elderly people’s habits as well as help them with daily tasks.

The most important thing for a live-in personal assistant, however, is to keep an eye out for any of the aforementioned F-A-S-T symptoms (at least when it comes to managing the onset of stroke).

AuthorBio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for She eagerly shares her knowledge with her audience on various blogs. When she isn’t writing or attending wellness conferences, she likes to pack her rucksack and ride her day away on her bike or spend time with her friends.


Author: Anne Harris    

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