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What Are Silent Strokes & How Do They Affect Seniors?

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Strokes are a leading health concern for seniors, and yet leading Lincoln stroke care provider, Home Care Assistance, has found that many adult children of aging parents are unclear on exactly what a stroke is and unfamiliar with the different types, primarily silent stroke.

All strokes are caused by a clot that suddenly stops blood flow to a specific part of the brain. Despite that similarity, there are different kinds of strokes, and some can be very difficult to detect. Silent strokes often go undetected until a brain scan shows damage or a senior begins to have significant symptoms. Although those with high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat are most at risk, all family caregivers in Lincoln should be aware of the potential signs that silent strokes may be occurring.

How Silent Strokes Occur

During a regular stroke, a blood clot forms in the brain that does not dissolve. When a silent stroke occurs, however, the clot dissolves within less than five minutes. The short duration of the clot causes the symptoms to either go away or be less severe. For this reason, many people never notice that a silent stroke has happened.

Detecting a Silent Stroke

When a silent stroke occurs, a caregiver may notice the following symptoms occur but only for a temporary moment.

  • Sudden confusion
  • Complaining of a severe headache
  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Drooping facial features on one side of the face
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty understanding other’s speech

If you notice any of these symptoms in your senior loved one, it is important to seek emergency treatment immediately. Although the symptoms may go away, a more serious stroke may occur, and a senior may have already sustained serious damage to the brain.

Potential Long-Term Effects

When a silent stroke happens, the damage that occurs is permanent, and those who have multiple silent strokes may struggle with memory loss and confusion. Some people may have mobility and speech challenges depending upon the part of the brain that was affected. A history of silent strokes also places a senior at risk for more severe strokes. Therefore, a senior who has had a silent stroke will need to be evaluated by their physician so that the appropriate therapy and preventative strategies can be implemented to ensure greater chances for better long-term health.

For more information on silent stroke, or to arrange in-home stroke care for your senior loved one, reach out to Lincoln Home Care Assistance. Our trained and trusted caregivers can help your loved one around the home, run errands, provide transportation, and offer mental and physical support during the recovery process. Call us today at (402) 261-5158 to schedule a no-obligation in-ho