Community Blog

Sudden Signs & Symptoms of Stroke

By Debbie Humphrey

A 60-something Dunedin resident, I will call John, took great pride in his healthy lifestyle, while living life to the fullest! John had a nice fishing boat he liked to take out onto the Gulf from time to time for some off-shore angling, as well as in the bayous of Tarpon Springs. If he had a good day on the water, he would clean, dress, and prepare his catch to share with family and friends.

One day a friend who was visiting after a day on the water, suddenly noticed some alarming changes in John. Suddenly, his speech became slurred; there was a slight drooping on the left side of his face, and the man was clearly disoriented.

Fortunately for John, his friend called 911 for emergency assistance, because, as suspected, he had suffered a stroke. Home Helpers Clearwater Stroke

I chose to recant this story and share the following information quickly for National Stroke Awareness Month, because it is crucial that action is taken quickly when someone suffers a stroke. It could mean the difference between life and death.

For every minute a stroke-sufferer’s brain does not receive proper blood flow, two million neurons are negatively affected. The more neurons that are lost determines the overall impact on speech, movement, memory, and life.

There are specific signs and symptoms for which to look when you, or someone you know, suddenly suffers a stroke:

-There is numbness in the face and/or extremities, usually affecting only one side of the body.
-There is a slurring of speech, confusion, and incomprehension.
-There is a loss of balance, coordination, and movement
-Vision becomes drastically impaired in one or both eyes.
-Headaches abruptly appear with no known cause.

Anyone at practically any age can suffer a stroke. However, it is most common in seniors. If you ever find yourself in a situation like John’s friend, the test recommended by the National Stroke Foundation is called “Act FAST”.

Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side appear droopy or unresponsive?
Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one tend to angle downward?
Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately!

Please keep this FAST test in the back of your mind should stroke befall someone you know and love. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of FAST action when stroke is suspected.

If someone you know and love has already suffered a stroke, no matter what kind or to what degree, our compassionate caregivers are available 24/7/365 to help with transportation assistance, light housework, personal care, meal preparation, companion care, and so much more.

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers®. We are Making Life Easier℠. 727-972-2539

Source: National Stroke Association