Caregiver Observances: National Stroke Awareness Month

Caregivers in Allentown NJ

Caregivers in Allentown NJDo you know your aging parent’s stroke risk? Are you aware of the risk factors associated with stroke? Do you have care efforts in place that help to reduce this stroke risk and make your parent safer and healthier as they age in place? May is National Stroke Awareness Month and as a family caregiver it is important that you take the time to educate yourself about the realities of stroke and what you can do in the context of your care plan to help your parent stay healthier and safer.

It can be daunting to think about the fact that every 40 seconds someone suffers a stroke. The reality is, however, that as many as 80 percent of strokes are completely preventable. By being aware of the risk factors that increase the chances that your aging loved one will experience a stroke you can help them to make better life choices that will protect them as they get older. Some of the risk factors associated with stroke include:

• Age. The risk for experiencing a stroke doubles every ten years after the age of 55. This makes stroke a common issue for elderly adults, but one that is not inevitable.

• Family history. Your senior is much more likely to experience a stroke if there is someone in the family who has already had a stroke. Immediate family members, including parents, siblings, and children, who have a history of stroke increase the chances considerably, so it is important that your parent know their family medical history to keep themselves and their doctor well informed of their health and health risks.

• Race. Another risk factor that cannot be controlled is race. African Americans are considerably more likely to experience a stroke than Caucasians. This is largely due to the fact that African Americans have higher chances of experiencing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease than Caucasians.

• Sex. Despite common belief, women are actually at higher risk of experiencing strokes, and more women than men have strokes each year.

• Obesity. A primary risk factor that your parent can control is being overweight. Being overweight or obese puts additional pressure on the heart and increases the chances of other health concerns such as high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which contribute to stroke risk.

• Bad eating habits. Making poor diet choices can put strain on your parent’s body and make it more difficult for their body to function properly. It is important to not only make sure that they are getting the nutrition that their bodies need to handle regular functions, but also that they are not eating things that could increase the chances of stroke, such as high sodium content, high cholesterol content, and trans fats.

Cardiovascular disease. Seniors with heart disease are much more likely to experience a stroke than those who do not have such concerns. It is important to stay alert of your parent’s heart health and take steps to protect it and reduce issues. This includes managing blood pressure, staying physically active, and following all doctor guidelines regarding heart health.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Allentown, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Alpine Home Care. In PA call 888-743-0068. In NJ call (855) 410-1404.

Tom Smith, President & CEO

Tom Smith, President & CEO

President and CEO at Alpine Home Care
Tom Smith is Alpine Home Care’s President and Chief Executive Officer with over 25 years of well-rounded strategic, operations and management experience at public and private healthcare companies in the following
areas – hospice and home health care, medical devices, medical equipment, infusion therapy and behavioral
health, in addition to positions at major health systems and large acute-care Integrated Delivery Networks
Tom Smith, President & CEO