Stand at the sink and wash your hands thoroughly (about 40 seconds according to the CDC). During that time, a stroke occurred somewhere in the country. Now, set a timer for 4 minutes. In the time it takes for the alarm to go off, someone in the United States has died because of a stroke. Strokes of all kinds are a medical emergency. But, the kind of stroke suffered by an older adult informs the care they need to recover as much of their previous functionality and preventing another stroke in the future. One kind of stroke that older adults can suffer is a hemorrhagic stroke.
About Hemorrhagic Strokes
All kinds of strokes occur when blood flow to part of the brain is interfered with in some way. In the case of a hemorrhagic stroke, the blood flow is disrupted because a blood vessel has ruptured or is leaking. They usually happen because of an underlying condition that impacts the health of the blood vessels. Some things that can be factors in a senior having a hemorrhagic stroke are:
- Untreated or uncontrolled blood pressure.
- Taking too much blood thinner medication.
- Aneurysms, which are bulges or weak spots in the walls of blood vessels.
- An injury, such as one that might occur during a car accident.
- Protein deposits that occur in the walls of blood vessels, which causes the walls to be weak.
- An ischemic stroke that leads to bleeding.
Symptoms of Hemorrhagic Stroke
The symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke are the same as those caused by other types of stroke. They are:
- Speech Problems: The older adult may have slurred speech or may not understand what others are saying to them.
- Paralysis or Weakness: Stroke often causes muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. It may affect the face, arm, or leg. You may see one side of the face drooping or the senior may have trouble raising one arm.
- Vision Issues: Vision may become blurry or blacken. The senior might also see double. The vision issue may occur in one eye or both.
- Headache: Stroke can cause a sudden and extremely painful headache. The senior might also vomit, feel dizzy, or be confused.
- Difficulty Walking: The older adult may stumble when they try to walk or have balance problems.
If your older family member has suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, an elderly care provider can assist with their aftercare and recovery. An elderly care provider can help with tasks that are difficult because of muscle weakness or paralysis, such as getting dressed and eating. Elderly care providers can also help with at-home rehabilitation exercises suggested by doctors and therapists. And, if the senior is taking medication to manage the risk of having a second stroke, an elderly care provider can remind them to take the medicine.