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Top early warning signs for a stroke

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Strokes are a very serious health issue that can happen in any age group, but seniors are especially at risk. In fact, a person's chance of having a stroke almost doubles for every decade after they turn 55. Strokes occur when blood flow to a person's brain is cut off by a clot or blockage in an artery, so the faster a person who has a stroke gets medical attention, the better. If you're an at-home senior care provider, take a look at the common early warning signs and symptoms of strokes so that you're always prepared to help your client:

Early warning signs
If your client begins exhibiting any of these symptoms, he or she may be having a stroke:

  • The muscles on one side of his or her face begin drooping
  • One arm or another part of his or her body suddenly becomes weak or numb
  • He or she is suddenly confused, having trouble finding and forming words or slurring speech
  • He or she suddenly has blurred vision
  • He or she suddenly has trouble walking or is very dizzy
  • He or she suddenly gets a severe headache

FAST
If you believe your client is having a stroke, the American Stroke Association recommends doing the FAST test to make sure. The FAST test has four steps:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty 
  • Time to call 911
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