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How To Recognize The Signs Of Stroke & Perform FAST Test

May 3, 2018 by Lauren Rosa

Knowing the signs of a stroke for seniors receiving at home care from a caregiver is important

One of the most serious and debilitating conditions that predominately affects the senior population is a stroke. It develops when a part of the brain doesn’t get blood supply. As a result, the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, which leads to the rapid death of brain cells.

A stroke is a serious medical emergency that can cause a number of severe health problems, reduce a person’s independence or even result in death. At home care experts point out that knowing the most common signs and symptoms of stroke, as well as how to perform the FAST test, is of paramount importance, as recognizing these signs during the onset of a stroke can literally save someone’s life and minimize brain damage.

To promote American Stroke Awareness Month, at home care experts share the most common signs of stroke. These are:

  • Paralysis and/or numbness of several body parts, including arm, leg or face. It typically happens on one side of the body;
  • Slurring words or inability to speak or understand others;
  • Vision changes in one or both eyes, such as blurred, blackened or double vision;
  • Trouble walking and problems with balance;
  • Severe headache, as well as dizziness, confusion, and vomiting.

At home care experts stress the importance of reacting in a timely manner when a stroke happens. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms in your loved one, perform a quick FAST test, and call emergency services. The FAST test is an easy and accurate way to check if your loved one is having a stroke. It can be performed in just a couple of minutes.

Let’s take a look at how to do the FAST test, which is an acronym for:

F-Face: Ask your loved one to smile and determine if one side of their face is drooping.

A-Arms: Ask your senior loved one to lift both their arms and determine if they can actually do it or if one arm drifts down when they attempt to keep it in the air.

S-Speech: Ask your senior loved one to say something in order to determine if they can talk without problems.

T-Time: When you notice one or more of the signs of a stroke, you need to call 911 immediately or drive your loved one to the emergency room. Remember that the sooner you react, the better chances of reducing brain damage and preventing negative, even fatal outcomes. 

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