Approximately 800,000 Americans every year suffer from a stroke, and most are aged 65-and-over. There are three major types of strokes that can target elderly individuals: ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). Most stroke survivors are forced to live with complications afterwards that include speech disorders, paralysis, blood clots, depression, and chronic headaches. As a family caregiver, knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can be a real difference-maker when every precious second counts. 

What Causes a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is cut off or heavily restricted, causing the blood-starved brain cells to begin dying off. As such, a stroke is very much like a heart attack of the brain. And although they target different organs in the body, heart attacks and strokes can be equally devastating and life changing events.

Stroke Risk Factors

A stroke is more likely to occur in an older individual with one or more of these risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
  • Previous transient ischemic at