May is National Stroke Awareness Month. As a family caregiver this is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about this condition and how it can impact your parent’s life as they age in place. Understanding this condition enables you to give your elderly loved one the level of care that they need to properly handle their condition and maintain their quality of life throughout their later years. This starts with recognizing the risk factors that your parent may have that might increase the chances that they will suffer this type of medical emergency.
Some of the risk factors for stroke that your elderly loved one can change include:
• High blood pressure, particularly high blood pressure that is not properly managed
• Diabetes, particularly diabetes that is not properly managed
• Eating an unhealthy diet particularly one that is high in cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat, and salt
• Lack of physical activity
• High blood cholesterol
• Atrial fibrillation
• High levels of stress
Some risk factors for stroke that your aging parent cannot change include:
• Being over the age of 64
• Sickle cell disease
• Heart disease
• Being a woman
• Personal history of stroke
• Family history of stroke
• Being black or Hispanic
• Alcohol abuse
• Not getting enough sleep
• Drug abuse
If your aging parent has any of these risk factors or you are concerned about their risk, do not hesitate to get in touch with their doctor to discuss their health. The doctor can tell you about your parent’s personal risk and what you can do to help them reduce that risk. They can also better prepare you for the type of care that your aging loved one will need in the event that they do experience such a medical emergency during their later years, including helping you to know how to properly respond if you notice the early warning signs of a stroke.
Starting home care for your aging parent can be an exceptional way for you to help your parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place. A home care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a schedule that is right for your them, ensuring that they get all of the care, support, and assistance that they need while also making sure that you remain at the forefront of their care routine.
This means that they are able to give your loved one a personalized set of services tailored to their individual needs, challenges, and limitations to help them manage these in the way that is right for them while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, activity, and engagement as possible.
If your elderly parent is at increased risk of suffering a stroke or has recently experienced such a medical emergency, this home care can be particularly beneficial. Through offering reminders to help your parent stay compliant with their medications, treatments, and guidelines, and helping them to make good lifestyle choices, this home care can help your parent to remain healthier throughout their later years.