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Understanding Strokes

Being in the home healthcare industry, I have had numerous opportunities to provide caregiver support to survivors of stroke. Some of our clients have had minimal challenges to overcome, while others were impacted much more seriously.

You probably know someone who has suffered a stroke, because according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it happens to more than 795,000 people in the United States every year.

“High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and diabetes are leading causes of stroke. One in three U.S. adults has at least one of these conditions or habits,” the CDC cited.

Since May is Stroke Awareness Month, so many people are affected by strokes annually, and the age of stroke victims doesn’t necessarily matter at this point, it is more important than ever to understand strokes and what to do should a stroke strike you or a loved one.

What is a Stroke?

The American Stroke Association (ASA) explains stroke as a disease that affects the blood vessels that lead to the brain and those that are contained within the brain.

A stroke happens when the arteries and blood vessels that carry oxygen to the brain become blocked due to a clot, or they rupture. When either of these incidents occurs, the part of the brain that is affected does not receive the oxygen it needs resulting in the death of brain cells.

Types of Strokes

We have already established that strokes are caused by blockages (clots), and ruptures in arteries and blood vessels in the brain. Now, let’s review the various types of strokes outlined by the ASA.

  • Ischemic Stroke – This is clot induced and accounts for 87% of all stroke incidents.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke – This type is caused by a ruptured blood vessel. “The two types of weakened blood vessels that usually cause hemorrhagic stroke are aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled high blood pressure,” according to the ASA.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – Also known as a mini-stroke, a TIA occurs with a temporary blood clot and should be taken very seriously as a preface to what can become a major stroke.
  • Cryptogenic Stroke – When the exact cause of a stroke cannot be determined, it is considered cryptogenic.
  • Brain Stem Stroke – This is a severe stroke because it impacts the brain stem and can leave someone in a “locked-in state.” This means that both sides of the body are affected, and the patient is unable to speak or move below the neck.

Signs & Symptoms of Stroke

Remember the FAST warning signs that are defined by the ASA. If you notice any of these, please ACT FAST to minimize the loss of brain cells and more serious complications from stroke.

  • TIME TO CALL 911!

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Numbness (on one side of the body, or both)
  • Confusion (noticeable when communicating with them)
  • Trouble seeing (one or both eyes)
  • Trouble walking (loss of balance and/or coordination)
  • Severe Headache (with no known cause)

Never hesitate to call 911, if you notice any of these signs of stroke. ACT FAST!!

If a caring, compassionate Home Helpers® caregiver can assist by delivering specialized care services in the form of stroke recovery support for you or your senior loved one who has survived one or more strokes, I am happy to schedule a FREE consultation at your convenience to assess specific needs and determine ways we can help in Making Life Easier™ for you and your family. 330.892.9329

Home Helpers® Canton, OH, is Veteran-owned and operated. We are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award, the Shooting Star Award (2011), and multiple Platinum awards for the superior level of care we provide. We are Certified Senior Advisors and members of the Home Care Association of America, Alzheimer’s Association, International Franchise Association, and we were ranked in the Top 500 Franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2019.

Home Helpers® Canton proudly serves male and female seniors in Stark County, Portage County, and portions of Summit County including the communities of Akron, Alliance, Canton, East Sparta, Hartville, Jackson, Massillon, Navarre, North Canton, Randolph, and surrounding areas.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention

American Stroke Association