nurse checking senior patient hand for arthritis

How Do You Prevent a Stroke?

Every year in the United States, more than 800,000 people experience a stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of the death in the U.S. Elderly people are at a higher risk of having a stroke and are also at a greater risk of experiencing long-term impacts after a stroke.

Thankfully, there are many options for stroke prevention and management in older adults. If you or a loved one is concerned about stroke risk, it is helpful to understand the preventative measures that can be taken, as well as the options available for support and rehabilitation if a stroke does occur.

Stroke in the Elderly

There is not one clear-cut reason why elderly people are at a higher risk of stroke. Likely, it has to do with the fact that, the longer you live, the more chronic health conditions you may acquire. Conditions like heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure all increase your risk of having a stroke.

If you believe a loved one is having a stroke, the most important thing is to act quickly. The more quickly a patient receives medical attention, the better the chance is of reducing the long-term effects of the stroke. When looking for symptoms of stroke in the very elderly, here is what to watch for:

  • Severe headache
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Numbness in the limbs and face, usually on one side of the body

Stroke Prevention Guidelines

The best way to lead an active, healthy lifestyle in your golden years is to create an active, healthy lifestyle as soon as possible; it is never too late to make positive changes for your health. At Hamilton Memorial Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, we develop a plan of customized support, care and enrichment to help our residents achieve their health goals. Hamilton Memorial was even awarded the National Quality 2020 Silver Award by the American Health Care Association for our unwavering commitment to performance excellence.

If you are interested in making some healthy changes and learning how to prevent a stroke naturally, you likely have many questions. Can drinking water help prevent a stroke? How do you prevent a stroke quickly? There are certain measures the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association recommend to aid in stroke prevention, including:

  • Reduce your sodium intake. High blood pressure increases your stroke risk. The AHA recommends no more than 1,500 mg per day, especially for people over the age of 51.
  • Stop drinking diet soda. Studies show that people who drink diet soda daily have a 61 percent higher risk of a vascular event. Replace diet soda with water as often as possible.
  • Lower your consumption of fatty foods. In addition to increasing your stroke risk, high consumption of trans fats is a contributing culprit to obesity, cancer and heart disease.
  • Control your diabetes and blood pressure. Keeping these chronic conditions under control not only reduces your stroke risk, it also reduces your risk of cardiac disease.
  • Quit smoking. It is never too late to stop smoking!
  • Exercise. Studies show that people who regularly exercise can reduce their stroke risk by up to 40 percent.

Finding Support

At Hamilton Memorial in McLeansboro, Ill., we take a holistic approach to helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition to offering social services and exercise groups, Hamilton Memorial residents have access to skilled nursing care, pain management, recreational programs, diabetes management and stroke programs. The personalized care plans designed by the Hamilton Memorial team are crafted with your health goals and your lifestyle in mind. We utilize every tool available to help you remain as strong and independent as possible as you recover after a stroke, serious illness or surgery.

Contact Hamilton Memorial today to learn more about how our services and support can generate positive outcomes for you or your loved ones.