On average, a stroke kills an American every 4 seconds. And with nearly 800,000 people having strokes each year in the U.S., it’s no wonder that the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association want to bring awareness to this condition. Luckily, we can often avoid the worst effects if we catch it early. Awareness is the key. And, with May being Stroke Awareness Month, you can protect yourself and others from the dangers of a stroke by spreading the word.
Ways You Can Raise Awareness:
Take action. First, learn about your own stroke risk by taking this quiz. When you’ve finished, forward the link to 5 of your friends. If someone learns that she is high risk, she will be more aware of any signs of stroke in the future, potentially saving her life.
Learn the warning signs. What’s the best way to save someone from extensive damage due to a stroke? Know the warning signs and get them help immediately. An easy way to remember the warning signs is by thinking “F.A.S.T.”.
F = Face Drooping. Is one side of the face numb or drooping? When you ask the person to smile, is his smile crooked?
A = Arm Weakness. Ask her to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?
S = Speech Difficulty. Does his speech suddenly sound slurred? Are he suddenly unable to speak? Ask him to repeat a simple sentence. If he cannot or it doesn’t sound right, it may be a stroke.
T = Time to go to the Emergency Room. If someone has these symptoms, even if they are only temporary, you need to call 9-1-1 immediately and get him or her to the hospital. Note the time when the symptoms first started to help the doctors with the diagnosis and treatment.
Tell others. Whether it’s announcing it on Facebook or sharing the “F.A.S.T” warning signs with a friend, get the word out that we need to be vigilant to avoid strokes. If you’re the party-planning type, organize a gathering with a doctor guest speaker to discuss stroke risks. If you’re more of a reader, share Stroke Awareness pamphlets with those who could be at risk. However you can, getting the word out could save someone’s life.
Freedom Home Care can help seniors remain at home after suffering a stroke. If you or someone you know could benefit from our specialized services, call us at 708-433-5788 for more information.