As we shift from April to May (can you believe it?), I am choosing to ACT FAST to address stroke and how we, as individuals and a community, can help during Stroke Awareness Month.
This was an easy choice since a caregiver friend of mine in Kentucky informed me that her younger sister had suddenly suffered a stroke two days before Thanksgiving 2021, and thanks to her husband’s FAST action, she was transported to a local hospital to be assessed, was transported for further evaluation by neurological specialists in Louisville where she was successfully treated.
Never did they suspect stroke as a diagnosis for this beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, however, that is exactly what happened. No one was more surprised and discombobulated by the diagnosis than my friend’s younger sister, though.
She was approaching 50 years of age at the time, and a vibrant woman. She is still a successful, practicing attorney in a small, thriving law firm, after having spent two decades juggling her career with being a boy Mom and remaining a diehard baseball enthusiast.
My friend, her family, and especially her sister, are grateful that they acted FAST, so she is still here and able to live her best, most gratifying life!
How to ACT FAST in Cases of Stroke
According to the National Stroke Association (NSF), 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.
Strokes are most common among seniors, but like I said, anyone at almost any age can suffer a stroke. If you ever find yourself in the presence of someone you think is having a stroke, a simple test recommended by the NSF, commonly known as Act FAST, can help you recognize the signs of a stroke:
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!
Other stroke symptoms to watch for include:
Numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
Trouble Seeing in one or both eyes
Trouble Walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Severe Headache with no known cause
Please remember this Act FAST test if someone appears to be having a stroke. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of FAST action when stroke is suspected.
In the case of my friend’s younger sister, FAST action saved her life and her ability to continue living her life. She still has hurdles to overcome, however, she is driven to beat all odds and resume a normal life.
Seniors who suffer stroke may not be so lucky. If stroke has impacted your life or that of someone you know, Home Helpers® compassionate caregivers provide seniors with specialized care, including support for stroke recovery, recuperative care, 24-hour in-home care, respite care, wellness calls, 24/7 monitoring services, and more.
I am happy to offer a FREE Consultation to assess specific needs and develop a comprehensive care plan to help stroke survivors stay independent in their home for as long as possible, and live a healthier quality of life.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award 2016-2022 and the Best of Home Care® Employer of Choice Award 2022. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson, and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539
National Stroke Association