A stroke (sometimes referred to as a brain “attack”), occurs when the blood flow to your brain stops and the brain cells in the area begin to crash. Treatment is needed immediately to ensure you lower your chances of brain damage, disability or even death, which is why knowing the warning signs of a stroke is vital for ensuring you’re able to react quickly and appropriately, should you spot them in someone.
But what are the signs of a stroke? And how can you spot the warning signs in someone? Find out more about how to recognise a stroke below.
Spotting the signs of a stroke
Using the FAST test
The signs and symptoms of a stroke vary from person to person, but they usually come on suddenly. One of the simplest and most effective ways to recognise the warning signs of a stroke is by using the FAST test. The FAST test, developed by the NHS, is an acronym used to help people remember how to recognise a stroke, and the parts of the body that may be affected:
- Face: Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms: Raise both arms together. Does one arm drop down?
- Speech: Check for slurred or strange speech by asking them to repeat a short sentence
- Time to call 999: If the answer is yes to any of the above, call 999 immediately and note the time when symptoms started.
Other warning signs of a stroke
So, what are the signs of having a stroke that aren’t included in the FAST test? There are several other symptoms that may also indicate a person is having a stroke, including:
- Paralysis of one side of the body
- Loss of sight or blurred vision
- Struggling to understand what others are saying
- Problems with balance and co-ordination
- Unable to swallow (dysphagia)
- Severe headaches
- Loss of consciousness
Mini stroke symptoms
Did you know that over two thirds (68%) of people do not recognise mini stroke symptoms? Mini stroke symptoms, otherwise known as a TIA (transient ischaemic attack), are not easily identified. The symptoms of a mini stroke are the same, but can last between a few minutes and a few hours before disappearing. Mini stroke symptoms should never be ignored – it means you have an increased risk of having a stroke as there may be a problem with the supply of blood to your brain.
What to do when someone has a stroke
It can be shocking to realise that someone close to you is experiencing these sorts of symptoms, and it’s easy to panic when it comes to knowing what to do when someone has a stroke. Remember that no two strokes are the same, so it’s important to call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance if you have spotted the signs of a stroke. Even if the stroke symptoms disappear it’s vitally important an assessment in a hospital is carried out.
For those who have experienced a stroke, going home is a big adjustment and often life-changing. The effects of having a stroke can vary greatly from person to person depending on the type and severity of the attack – as does the chance of making a full recovery. Individuals recovering from a stroke are likely to require ongoing care and medical assistance. Changes to coordination and balance can make simple tasks difficult, if not impossible.
Here at IP Homecare we have a wealth of experience supporting those who have experienced a stroke. We’ve found that recuperation is often quicker in the comfort of your own home, with the support of an around-the-clock live-in carer. Our live-in care packages can include:
- Support after leaving hospital including early supported discharge
- Care and rehabilitation at home following acute treatment in hospital
- Ongoing long term care
- Short-term respite care
If you’re struggling to know what to do when someone has a stroke, we’re here to help. Our friendly team are on-hand to discuss your individual circumstances, and to determine the right package of care for you or a loved one. Contact us today to find out more about your options, or to arrange a care assessment with no further obligations.