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Does Aspirin Really Help Prevent Senior Stroke?

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“Can an aspirin a day really keep stroke away” is the question Lincoln home stroke care provider Home Care Assistance hopes to answer today.

The Answer is Yes…

For seniors with a previous cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, the medical opinion is yes. Aspirin is considered an antiplatelet medication by the National Institute of Health. When used in low and moderate doses, it can prevent formation of blood clots through blood cells joining together. However, it does not prevent the build up of plaque in artery walls, which is a major contributing factor.

…And No

There is a difference of opinion as to the benefits of aspirin for those who have not had a previous cardiovascular event. According to the FDA, the evidence shows that daily aspirin consumption by those who have not suffered such an event, even if they are high-risk individuals, is of no benefit. The American Heart Association claims a benefit to taking aspirin under a doctor’s supervision.

Risk Factors

There are risk factors to consider when taking aspirin regularly. Some seniors are allergic to aspirin and should avoid it if they experience a reaction, while others find that aspirin causes or aggravates chronic heartburn or gastric irritation.

Because it is a blood thinning medication, evidence shows that daily doses of aspirin can cause internal stomach bleeding or bleeding through the smaller blood vessels of the brain, so seniors with weak blood vessels should avoid aspirin.

Uncontrolled internal bleeding is difficult to detect and causes its own host of problems, including anemia, low blood pressure and rapid heartbeat. In the worst cases, the person can suffer seizure, organ failure or coma. As with any medication, the best plan of action is consulting with your senior loved one’s doctor to fully weigh the risk versus benefit.

To learn more or to find post-stroke care for your senior loved one, reach out to Lincoln Home Care Assistance. We are proud to offer both hourly and live-in care services, and customize care plans to fit each senior’s individual needs. Our caregivers are highly trained to help with everything from grocery shopping to light housework and can help your senior loved one maintain a high quality of life during his or her recovery process. Give us a call today at (402) 261-5158 to schedule a free in-home consultation with an experienced and trusted Care Manager.