Although strokes are equal opportunists, there are various risk factors that can increase the chances of your loved one having a stroke. As a caregiver, one of the greatest gifts you can offer your care recipient is knowledge and help for prevention.
Published by the nation's leading experts on stroke prevention, The Stroke Prevention Guidelines are an amazing source for helping you and your loved one learn how to lower the risk of stroke.
Despite the fact that stroke is the leading cause of death and disability, and four out of five stroke victims have no apparent warning signs, strokes can be prevented 80 percent of the time. Those are some very good odds.
Stroke Prevention Guidelines:
- Hypertension: Having your loved one get his or her blood pressure assessed is vital to their health. If left untreated, hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke. At their yearly checkup be sure to have their blood pressure checked. They can also use an automatic blood pressure machine at the pharmacy or supermarket.
- Atrial Fibrillation (Afib): Identifying if your loved one has Afib, or an abnormal heartbeat can majorly reduce their risk of stroke. Afib increases stroke risk by 500%, and must be diagnosed by a doctor.
- Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of stroke by 50%. It makes the heart work harder by damaging blood vessel walls, speeding up artery clogging and raising blood pressure.
- Alcohol Use: Numerous studies have linked alcohol consumption to stroke. Doctors recommend drinking in moderation.
- Cholesterol Levels: High cholesterol levels can clog the arteries and cause a stroke. Consult with your loved one's doctor if their cholesterol level is higher than 200.
- Take care of Diabetes: If your loved one has diabetes make sure they are properly taking care of it. Many health problems associated with diabetes are also risk factors for stroke.
- Exercise and Diet: For the elderly exercise can include stretching, lifting light weights, balance exercises and cardio. Read more about the benefits of exercises for the elderly, also make sure your loved one is eating a well-balanced diet low in calories, salt, saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Circulation Problems: Fatty deposits can block arteries carrying blood to the brain and lead to stroke. If your loved one has circulation problems make sure they are properly treated by a doctor.
The repercussions of avoiding stroke prevention are definitely not worth the agony. Do your loved one a favor and make sure they take the proper steps to lessen their chances of experiencing a debilitating stroke.