F.A.S.T. is an acronym to help you to remember what to look for if you suspect your senior is having a stroke. The acronym breaks down to Face, Arm, Speech, and Time to call for help. These different areas point to different parts of your senior’s brain that can be affected by a stroke. Here’s what you need to know.
Ask Your Senior to Smile
Face drooping is a big sign of stroke, and it typically happens on one side of the face or the other. Ask your elderly family member to smile and look at her directly. If one side of her face doesn’t appear to be responding or is drooping, this is a possible sign of a stroke. Your elderly family member may feel as if she is fully smiling with both sides of her face, even if she isn’t.
Check for Arm Weakness
Next ask your elderly family member to raise both of her arms. She can raise them in front of her or at her sides. What you’re really looking for is whether she’s able to lift both arms and if one of them looks weaker than the other. If your elderly family member can’t move one of her arms and it’s on the same side as the face droop, that’s another big indication of a possible stroke.
Ask Her to Say Something
Ask your elderly family member to say something. What she says isn’t important, but you need to listen for signs of slurring, an inability to repeat the sentence you sked her to say, or anything else that seems unusual. Choose a simple sentence that is typically easy for your elderly family member to say. If she’s having problems and the other signs weren’t good either, move to the last step quickly.
Call for Emergency Help
Don’t waste too much time on these steps. You can even call 911 as you’re asking your elderly family member to try these various activities. The faster that you can get medical help there to assist your senior, the better her chances of recovery. Let the 911 operators know what you’ve already tried and what your senior’s results were.
Recovering from a stroke can be a long and painful process. Your elderly family member may need additional help with activities that used to be simple for her to handle on her own. Hiring home care providers can be immensely helpful.
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