Owners' Blog

Medical Acronyms Every Family Caregiver Should Memorize

By HIlary and Greg Eldridge

Some medical conditions require a fast response for the best possible outcome. Do you know what to do if your mom or dad has a stroke? How about after a fall? Memorize these medical acronyms. They can help you take care of your parent until paramedics arrive or you're able to talk to your mom or dad's doctor.


FAST is an acronym you should know when it comes to identifying and getting help during a stroke. The sooner the type of stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome. FAST means:

  • F (Face) – Is the face drooping on one side?
  • A (Arm) – Is the person able to raise at least one arm all the way?
  • S (Speech) – Can the person speak clearly or is it slurred?
  • T (Time) – If there are issues with any of the above, call emergency services immediately or get the person to the hospital without delay.

You don't have to have all three of these issues present. Slurred speech when you don't believe your mom or dad has not been drinking is a sign. It's best to be cautious and have your parent looked at. If it turns out they were drinking, it's better than ignoring a potential stroke symptom.


RICE is one you probably heard as a child. If your mom or dad falls and strains a muscle but is otherwise fine, use RICE until you can get them to a doctor.

  • R (Rest) – Sit or lay down and avoid putting weight on the muscles that seem to be strained.
  • I (Ice) – Use a cold pack to reduce swelling and help ease bruising.
  • C (Compression) – Wrap the area in an elastic medical bandage for support.
  • E (Elevate) – Raise the injured area above the heart to reduce bruising.
  • While your parent takes these measures, call a doctor. It may be advisable to go for x-rays as a precaution. The doctor will be able to help you determine if an emergency room visit is necessary or if it's okay to wait until the doctor's office opens.

Companionship Helps Improve Mental and Physical Health

Don't leave your mom or dad alone all day. Caregivers can come to their home and cook, clean, or offer dozens of other helpful home care services. Most importantly, they offer companionship. Your parent doesn't have to be home alone every day. Having someone to talk to is essential to overall health.

They can help you with daily home care tasks. If your parents need a ride to the store, caregivers will help. Caregivers can join your parent on walks. They can escort your parent to and from senior centers for luncheons and social activities. Schedule their services each day or once a week. Get started by making a call now.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Roswell, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.