stoke & vascular dementia - home care

WARNING SIGN’S OF STROKE AND VASCULAR DEMENTIA (TIA)


If the elderly or any person for the matter suddenly feels odd or acts

strangely, even for a few minutes, it could be a sign that they’ve just

had a mini stroke.


When stroke-like symptoms appear for only a short time, it’s called a

transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a mini stroke. Symptoms could

even come and go so quickly that seniors might not realize they’ve

had a stroke. So it might even go unnoticed, this in self could be

problematic as no immediate action is taken to remedy the situation.

During a TIA here are, symptoms and causes, and two reasons why

these mini strokes are serious warnings for elderly – major stroke and

Causes and Symptoms of TIA.


During a mini stroke, the blood supply to the brain is briefly blocked. It’s

basically a stroke that only lasts for a few minutes. Most symptoms

disappear within an hour, but could last for up to 24 hours.

Symptoms of a TIA are like other stroke symptoms, but don’t last as

long. You won’t be able to tell if these symptoms are from a TIA or a

major stroke, so if the elderly adult has these symptoms, get medical

attention as soon as possible.


Symptoms happen suddenly and include:


 Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body

 Confusion, trouble speaking, difficulty understanding speech

 Trouble seeing in one or both eyes

 Difficulty walking

 Dizziness

 Problems with balance or coordination

 An abnormal sense of taste or smell

A TIA is usually caused by low blood flow at a narrow part of a major

artery that carries blood to the brain, like the carotid artery. It could also

be caused by a blood clot that travels to the brain and blocks a blood

vessel there.

A third common cause is the narrowing of smaller blood vessels in the

brain that blocks blood flow for a short period of time – often caused by

plaque build-up.

 

TIAs warn of two serious health conditions

1. It’s a sign of major stroke in the near future

Mini strokes usually don’t cause permanent brain damage, but they’re a

serious warning sign that a major stroke will happen in the future.

In fact,  40%  of people who have a TIA will have an actual stroke and

almost half of all strokes happen within a few days after a TIA.

2. They cause vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common  form of dementia  and is

caused by reduced blood flow to the brain – usually from a stroke or a

series of strokes. Even though TIAs can be unnoticeably small, the

damage to the brain adds up over time.

When the blood flow to the brain is blocked, brain cells don’t get oxygen

and nutrients. That causes damage to areas of the brain associated with

learning, memory, and language. This leads to memory loss, confusion,

and other signs of dementia.

This type of dementia usually affects people aged 60 to 75 and is more

common in men than women.

 

What to do after a TIA

If you suspect that that the elderly adult has had a mini stroke, take them

to a hospital immediately and describe all the symptoms they

experienced.

To reduce the risk of a major stroke in the near future, doctors may

recommend medication to prevent blood clots from forming or to treat  high blood pressure , high cholesterol, or heart disease.

Depending on the situation, surgery could also be recommended.

In the longer term, help your older adult lower their stroke and

vascular dementia risk by improving their lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle

means not smoking, not drinking too much, eating a healthy diet, and

exercising regularly. It is also important to keep other health

conditions under control, especially high blood pressure and high

cholesterol.