4 Kinds of Strokes in Seniors

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A stroke is a type of medical condition characterized by a lack of blood flow to the brain, and it can be extremely dangerous. Once blood flow to the brain is interrupted, parts of the brain tissue can start to die off, resulting in memory loss, impaired motion, and cognitive decline. Being able to identify and prevent strokes is easier when you know a little about the underlying causes. Strokes fall into four main categories, depending on what’s keeping blood from reaching the brain.

1. Ischemic Stroke

This is the most common type of stroke, with roughly 87 percent of all strokes being classified as ischemic, and it happens when something blocks a blood vessel leading to the brain. There are many conditions that can block blood flow, including a blood clot or a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries. Treatment for this type of stroke focuses on breaking up the clot with medication or surgery. Following an ischemic stroke, doctors may recommend taking blood-thinning medications and making lifestyle changes to prevent another stroke. 

Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Rocklin senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

2. Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel breaks, causing blood to flood out into the surrounding tissue instead of traveling to its proper destination, which deprives the brain of oxygenated blood while also causing fluid buildup. Though rare, hemorrhagic strokes are more dangerous than ischemic strokes because doctors have to stop the bleeding and reduce pressure buildup in the skull as quickly as possible. Hemorrhagic strokes are frequently caused by high blood pressure that puts too much strain on the walls of blood vessels, so prevention focuses on maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and managing blood pressure levels. 

For many stroke survivors, recovering at home without a caregiver close by at all times is difficult. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Rocklin live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.

3. Transient Ischemic Attack

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is technically a type of ischemic stroke, but it’s unique enough to be in its own category because the effects are so different. When a person has a transient ischemic attack, the clot doesn’t lodge in one area for too long. Instead, it quickly breaks up, and the stroke-like symptoms resolve themselves within a few minutes or hours. Seniors may temporarily have confusion, difficulty moving, lightheadedness, vision impairment, or slurred speech. Though TIAs don’t cause lasting damage, they still need to be taken very seriously because they’re a sign another stroke can occur.

4. Cryptogenic Stroke

This type of stroke is fairly rare. A stroke is only categorized as a cryptogenic stroke when the precise cause cannot be discovered. In these cases, potential causes may include an irregular heartbeat, a hole in the heart, or fat buildup in the arteries. Cryptogenic strokes tend to be problematic because it’s difficult to prevent a second stroke if the doctor doesn’t know what made the first stroke occur. Seniors often need extra testing and medical monitoring when recovering from this type of stroke.

A senior stroke survivor often needs very specialized care from someone with experience in providing support during stroke recovery. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Rocklin families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 916.226.3737 today.