Stroke in Elderly Adults: The Types, Effects, and Prognosis
According to official statistics, stroke is the 4th deadliest disease in the USA, following heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. A New York Times survey shows that stroke is more common among senior people. The majority (66%) of stroke in elderly patients’ cases happened to people after the age of 65. The main difficulty with stroke is that not everyone can recognize its signs and seek medical help immediately. However, when it comes to stroke, every minute counts; the sooner you get help, the higher the chances of reducing possible harm.
Types of Stroke
By knowing the types of stroke, one can easily recognize them and be able to assist the patient immediately. There are three types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke - This type is the most common among both adults and young people. It accounts for almost 90 percent of all cases. The reason for an ischemic stroke is an obstruction in a blood vessel. As a result, blood is blocked in arteries and can no longer support the brain and other vital organs. It occurs because of poor nutrition and the consumption of significant amounts of cholesterol-rich food.
- Hemorrhagic stroke - This type is less common among elderly people, but no less harmful for health. A sudden and intense rupture of a blood vessel in the brain causes this type of stroke. It triggers painful spasms as it kills brain cells.
- TIA (transient ischemic attack) - Although this type is also referred to as a "mini stroke," it must be taken very seriously. A TIA is primarily caused by a temporal clot.
No matter what type of stroke a person near you is experiencing, there is always an opportunity to help and save their life if you are able to take quick action and call for emergency help.
Signs of Stroke in Elderly Adults
The following symptoms are sure signs of stroke. As we have already mentioned, it is vital to recognize them as soon as possible, because every minute is crucial. This is what happens when you have a stroke:
- Lack of sensation in the face and body parts;
- Vision loss;
- Strong headache;
- Inability to speak clearly;
- Loss of coordination.
These are the most common symptoms of a stroke in men and women. If a person displays these signs but isn’t sure what a stroke feels like, here are some tips on how to identify a massive or small stroke. Ask the person to smile, raise their hands, repeat a sentence or tell you their name and address. If they cannot do these actions, or can only do them with noticeable difficulty, call 911 immediately to make sure that they receive timely and life-saving assistance from medical professionals.
Men’s vs. Women’s Stroke Symptoms
Women are 20% more at risk of stroke than men. There are twice as many fatalities due to stroke in women as there are from breast cancer. Women may have additional symptoms of stroke apart from those listed above. They are nausea, hiccups, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Prognosis for Elderly Stroke Patients
Studies show that hemorrhagic stroke prognosis has a lower survival rate than the Ischemic or TIA; nonetheless, the number of people who survive it has a higher rate of recovery. Almost half of stroke patients face disabilities and challenges with basic daily routines like eating, getting dressed, walking, etc. Sometimes they have a linguistic disorder called "aphasia", which causes an inability to process language.
Recovery Road Map
The life expectancy after a stroke mostly depends on the treatment and lifestyle of the patient. To help your loved one improve their health and achieve recovery after a stroke, you will need to be patient as it is a long process.
Successful recovery requires professional medical help: physical, speech, and occupational therapists will help patients strengthen their motor functions and restore their mental abilities and basic life skills. But medical treatment is only a part of what is needed.
Stroke patients need to lead a healthy lifestyle (healthy eating and eliminating alcohol and cigarettes) and to stay socially active. If you or someone from your family has this diagnosis, specialists from Buffalo Home Care will help with mild but comprehensive support. Our staff will provide the best assistance and help stroke patients achieve social wellness. Contact us and let us help you!