By Rick Banas of assisted living and senior living provider BMA Management, Ltd.
With May designated as National Stroke Awareness Month, we wanted to share with you some important information about strokes that can help save lives.
The information comes from the National Stroke Association.
Strokes do not just strike seniors. Anyone of any age, race or gender can have a stroke.
Many of the risk factors for stroke are controllable. These include alcohol use, atherosclerosis (the build-up of plaque in the walls of your arteries), diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, and the use of tobacco and smoking.
With strokes, every minute counts so it is vital for you to think FAST. The most effective treatments for stroke are only available within the first three hours of experiencing the first symptoms of a stroke.
The following are common symptoms of a stroke:
SUDDEN numbness or weakness of the face,
arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
SUDDEN trouble seeing in one of both eyes.
SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance,
loss of coordination.
SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.
To help you remember how to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and how you should respond, the National Stroke Association recommends that you think FAST.
|F||Face||Ask the person to smile.
Does one side of the face droop?
|A||Arms||Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does one side drift downward?
|S||Speech||Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
Is the speech slurred or strange?
|T||Time||If you observe any of the signs of a stroke,
call 9-1-1 immediately.
To help you remember how to Think FAST, the National Stroke Association has provided a FAST Wallet Card that you can download and print to carry with you. Click the link to the right to view the Fast Wallet Card http://goo.gl/dHYcs
The National Stroke Association also urges you to note the time you first experienced the first symptom of a stroke. The information is important to health care providers and can affect treatment decisions.
For more information about how you can become a Stroke Champion by helping raise stroke awareness during the month of May and throughout the year, visit theStroke Awareness Resource Center.
Post Script Heritage Woods of Flora, a BMA affordable assisted living community in Flora, Illinois, is hosting a Stroke Awareness Mother-Daughter Tea in partnership with Clay County Hospital at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, 2013.
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