With their ability to impair brain functioning, strokes are one of the most serious medical emergencies. Sometimes it can be quite challenging to spot a stroke. If your senior loved one has a silent stroke, you may not even realize it’s happening.
Silent Strokes Defined
A stroke can happen whenever blood flow to the brain is blocked, and this usually leads to symptoms such as muscular weakness and speech difficulties. However, it’s also possible for a person to have a stroke without any symptoms. This is called a silent stroke. Due to the lack of obvious signs, people can end up having silent strokes without even noticing them. These strokes only block blood flow temporarily, so they resolve themselves without medical intervention.
The Dangers of Silent Strokes
A silent stroke might not cause immediate issues such as drooping facial muscles or mumbled words. However, even though it isn’t immediately noticeable, a silent stroke still causes damage to the brain. Over time, this can lead to thinking and memory issues. Having one silent stroke increases the risk of further strokes in the future. This can be very problematic because a person can end up having multiple damaging silent strokes without ever realizing he or she needs to seek care.
Aging adults who’ve had multiple silent strokes may need assistance with everyday tasks. Senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Spotting Silent Strokes
There aren’t many symptoms you can keep an eye out for with a silent stroke. Unlike what often happens with other types of strokes, seniors most likely won’t experience confusion, difficulty speaking, or weakness. Instead, silent strokes are usually only diagnosed after the fact. If your loved one has several, you may notice subtle signs like balance issues, mood swings, and lack of focus. To tell if your loved one has had one, he or she will need to get a CT scan or MRI. These imaging tests can display the damage caused by a silent stroke.
Treatments for Silent Strokes
Once a silent stroke has happened, there’s no way to completely reverse the damage. Strokes cause lasting damage to the brain by killing brain cells, and these cells cannot be restored. This doesn’t mean your loved one’s prognosis is entirely grim. The brain is quite adaptive, and over time, healthy areas of the brain can take over the functions of the damaged areas.
The effects of strokes can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without help from caregivers. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Mesa live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Lowering the Risk of Silent Strokes
Since it can be so dangerous to have multiple silent strokes, prevention is very important. By following healthier lifestyles, seniors can lower their risk of experiencing silent strokes. One of the most important things is lowering blood pressure, which may require a low-sodium diet, reduced cholesterol, and certain medications. If your loved one has other conditions like obesity or diabetes, working with a doctor to treat these conditions can lower your parent’s stroke risk. General lifestyle changes, such as exercising more, eating more vegetables, and quitting smoking, can also reduce silent stroke risk.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services. Mesa Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (480) 699-4899.