Common Signs and Symptoms of Stroke in Geriatrics and Elderly
If your loved one suffered a stroke, could you recognize it quickly?
Do you know what to do? That’s why!
For early detection, it is important to know its warning signs and symptoms.
Seniors are at more risk of stroke due to their age and some additional factors. In 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 795,000 seniors in the United States suffered a stroke.
It is a complex medical condition in which blood does not reach the brain. It happens when blood vessels are blocked due to clots or bursts.
The easiest way to remember the alarming signs of stroke is by using the word “FAST”. It stands for:
F = Face dropping
A = Arm weakness
S = Speech problem
T = Time to contact a physician
Let’s briefly discuss the common warning signs and symptoms of stroke in geriatrics:
The most common and earliest sign of stroke in seniors is loss of feeling in feet, legs, hands, and other extremities or sudden numbness on the face. It also feels like a tingling sensation. According to health experts, stroke can result in numbness in one side of the body while the other side remains functional. It in this situation, you must constantly shake, touch, or massage that numb area of the person.
Being unable to completely think clearly or unable to understand what is happening around is another common symptom of stroke in your loved one. They may also experience difficulty in focusing and making decisions.
A severe or sudden headache in the scalp, neck, or head without any specific known reason in a person who has no headache history is the clear warning sign of stroke. So, if you notice your loved one often rubbing their temples and touching their head then immediately contact your physician.
Loss of balance and dizziness
Feeling lightheaded, faint, difficulties in moving, standing or walking all are alarming in seniors. The person suddenly becomes clumsy or starts tripping over nothing.
Problem in speaking
An old person having incoherent, slurred speech or inability to speak is prone to stroke. You face difficulty in talking with them or are unable to understand their sentences.
Changes in vision
Problem with eyesight with both or one eye and blurred vision also gives the clue of stroke in geriatrics. So, if you notice your loved one often rub their eyes, squint, and is unable to read then do not ignore this and inform their physician about the situation.
In the bottom line
So, if you observe these above discussed signs and symptoms in your loved one, immediately call 911 and give the victim help right away. Being able to properly identify the warning symptoms and signs of stroke in older adults is the only way to keep your loved one safe. And if they have multiple risk factors for stroke that can be controlled, encourage them to make changes and save their lives.
- Patel, Ashruta, et al. "Peer Reviewed: Awareness of Stroke Signs and Symptoms and Calling 9-1-1 Among US Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2009 and 2014." Preventing chronic disease16 (2019).
- National Institute of Aging. Stroke. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/stroke
- Org. Stroke. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113