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Stroke

Stroke

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. A stroke occurs every 40 seconds, and over 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke every year. While some people will recover completely, more than ⅔ will have some sort of lasting disability.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a particular part of the brain is cut off. The lack of blood deprives the brain of oxygen, causing cells to die. When brain cells die, the abilities controlled by that part of the brain are lost. Therefore, the location and amount of brain damage determine how the person is affected long-term.

There are two different types of strokes. They are:

  • Ischemic – This type occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked. There are also transient ischemic strokes (TIAs) that occur when blood flow to the brain stops for a short period of time.
  • Hemorrhagic – This type occurs when an aneurysm bursts or blood vessel leaks. This type is less common, but can have more catastrophic effects.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

It is important to act quickly if you or someone you love may be having a stroke. Call 9-1-1 if you recognize stroke symptoms. Look for the following:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, particularly on one side of the body
  • Unusual and sudden confusion, trouble understanding, or difficulty speaking
  • Quick onset of difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, difficulty with balance or coordination, or dizziness
  • Severe headache with sudden onset and no known cause

What causes a stroke?

Certain factors increase risk, including increased age and family history of stroke. The good news is that there are several lifestyle factors you can affect to decrease your risk. They include:

  • High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. Work with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan if you suffer from high blood pressure (also known as hypertension.)
  • Smoking doubles the risk of stroke because it damages blood vessels. Find a way to quit for the sake of your health.
  • Obesity stresses the circulatory system, which can increase the chance of having a stroke. People who are obese also tend to have higher cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure, and increased risk of diabetes. All of these are risk factors that increase the chance of stroke.
  • Diabetes increases the risk of stroke by up to four times, mostly because people with diabetes have other health problems that increase the risk of stroke.
  • Alcohol use has been linked to an increased stroke risk in many studies.
  • High cholesterol can clog arteries and lead to a stroke.
  • Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque or fatty deposits on artery walls. This buildup can block blood flow and lead to a stroke.

What happens after a stroke?

Medical professionals will determine the best emergency care for someone who experiences a stroke. Afterward, recovery is a lifelong process. Rehabilitation usually begins before leaving the hospital. The goal is to improve function and learn new ways to do any activities that may have become difficult.

In the event of a severe stroke, long term therapy may be needed. A community with assisted living and skilled nursing support that provides therapy services on site can offer peace of mind. At Parc Provence, our skilled therapists work with our resident’s medical team to implement the best possible plan for care. With our caring staff supporting every daily need, each resident is able to focus on recovery while we take care of life’s details.

Learn more

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe or debilitating stroke, consider assisted living with specialized care at Parc Provence. We have the experience and understanding that only comes from over a decade of leading the way in memory and rehabilitative care. Let us show you how our unique environment and programs help our residents and their families get the most out of life. Contact Parc Provence today. Because every moment matters.