Stroke awareness tips for residents in senior independent living communities
Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of long-term disability, according to the CDC. Yet many strokes can be prevented and those caught early can often be treated. The best senior independent living communities help residents manage their stroke risk and provide services to help those recovering from a stroke live life more fully.
Know the signs of a stroke
When a stroke happens, every second counts. A stroke happens when a blood vessel gets blocked or bursts, causing brain tissue to die. This can lead to permanent brain damage, disability, or death. Knowing the signs can help your loved one get lifesaving treatment and reduce the risk of permanent disability. A simple test is called Act F.A.S.T.:
- F = Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
- A = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S = Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
- T = Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Stroke treatment can begin in the ambulance.
Know your risk factors for a stroke
While some risk factors cannot be changed (such as age, sex and ethnicity), many risk factors for stroke are preventable or can be reduced. These include:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Not getting enough exercise
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
You can learn more about stroke, including other common signs, risk factors, preventable measures, and treatment from the CDC, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, or the American Stroke Association.
How senior independent living communities help keep residents healthy
Because maintaining a healthy diet and keeping physically active can help prevent strokes, residents of senior independent living centers can reduce their risk factors by taking advantage of the many health and wellness services available. These include managing weight and maintaining physical activity through personalized fitness programs led by fitness professionals and eating nutritious meals planned by certified dietitians and prepared by professional chefs.
How senior independent living communities can help after a stroke
Following a stroke, senior independent living communities offer residents a supportive environment to recover and to gradually return to more active living. At Ecumenical Retirement Community, a team of health care and therapy professionals works with seniors to develop customized restorative care plans that include physical, occupational and speech therapy; exercises that improve strength, balance and flexibility; strategies to help perform daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and walking; and emotional and spiritual support. Unlike at assisted living facilities or nursing homes, residents of senior independent living communities are encouraged to take an active role in their health care, which contributes to a greater feeling of independence and satisfaction.
For those recovering from a stroke, specialized fitness programs, like Think, Move and Improve at Ecumenical Retirement Community, can help residents continue their journey back to active living. By incorporating cognitive challenges with physical tasks and by emphasizing large movement, vocal projection and facial expression, the fitness program helps individuals recovering from stroke as well as those with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological symptoms.
Learn more about how you or your loved one can live life fully at Ecumenical Retirement Community.
Often considered one of the best senior independent living communities in Pennsylvania, Ecumenical Retirement Community offers residents everything from memory support, restorative care, and personal care to our independent living home services, all while providing seniors with a holistic approach to health and care. The campus is designed to provide our residents with the chance to live life fully while enjoying retirement and receiving the care they need, including care after a stroke. Our knowledgeable and friendly coworkers at our retirement community are available to provide more information on all of the services and life enriching activities we offer at Ecumenical Retirement Community. Join us for a campus tour to help you make the best decision for a retirement community for you or your loved one. We look forward to hearing from you and showing you what Ecumenical Retirement Community has to offer.
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