According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 Americans experience a stroke each year. Since seniors are more susceptible to strokes than younger adults, this may be cause for concern for many family caregivers in Summit. To help you be prepared in the event your elderly loved one has a stroke, here are the causes of three of the most common types and information on how they can be treated.
An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. It is caused by a blockage in the blood vessel, such as a blood clot or fatty deposit. Ischemic strokes are usually treated with medications, which are delivered to the blocked artery with an IV or catheter. Some people also have surgery to remove the blockage.
Transient Ischemic Attack
A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is a smaller stroke caused by tiny clots in the blood vessels. The symptoms of a TIA usually last for one to five minutes, and the clot doesn’t cause lasting or permanent damage to the brain. These attacks are a warning that a second, more severe stroke can occur, and treatment is necessary to prevent this. TIA is treated with medications like blood thinners, and lifestyle changes are also recommended. For example, to reduce the risk of additional strokes, seniors usually need to stop smoking, eat a healthy diet, reduce cholesterol levels, and exercise regularly.
A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a damaged blood vessel that allows blood to enter the brain. An aneurysm is a type of hemorrhagic stroke that occurs when a blood vessel swells, which compresses the surrounding brain tissue. Aneurysms are treated based on the size, severity, and specific location of the affected blood vessel. Surgery may be necessary for some people, and lifestyle changes are also recommended, especially for seniors with an untreatable, unruptured aneurysm. Controlling blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and living an otherwise healthy lifestyle can help prevent an aneurysm from rupturing.
Stroke recovery varies significantly from person to person. Some people recover within a few weeks, while others may have permanent brain damage that prevents a full recovery. Medications and other treatments, such as physical therapy, are usually necessary during the recovery period. Some seniors may need to take medications for the rest of their lives to remain healthy and prevent future strokes. Recovery can be more easily managed with the help of a stroke caregiver in Summit.
If your loved one needs assistance with daily living during stroke recovery, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained caregivers can assist with mobility and exercise, meal prep, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. For more information on home care Summit families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.