Stroke Awareness Month

Every 5 minutes, someone in the UK has a stroke, with around 100,000 people affected every year.

May marks Stroke Awareness Month – this year the Stroke Association is focusing on the damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on stroke research.  Research is key to our understanding of stroke as well as rehabilitation for the 1.2 million survivors of stroke that are currently living in the UK.

Are you at risk of a stroke?

The most common risk factor for stroke is hypertension, or high blood pressure, which accounts for the majority of cases in the UK.  Other contributing factors include unhealthy behaviours such as lack of physical activity, poor diet and smoking.  

Preventative measures such as giving up smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle could significantly lower your risk of a stroke.

Know the signs of a stroke

Getting medical attention as quickly as possible is critical in terms of stroke survival and reducing the serious affects of the illness.  By knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, you could help to save someone’s life.

The acronym FAST is a simple way to identify the most common symptoms of a stroke and will help you to act quickly:

F – Face:  Ask the person to smile?  Does the face droop down on one side

A – Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms – do they have difficulty with one arm?

S – Speech:  Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence?  Is their speech slurred?

T- Time:  Time is critical – if you observe any of the above symptoms, dial 999 immediately.

Life after stroke

How long a patient stays in hospital will depend on the severity of the stroke.  More often than not, patients will need to go through a period of rehabilitation.  It can be an extremely long road to recovery, with many patients experiencing irreversible damage such as loss of speech and mobility.

Families are often faced with making unexpected, but long-term care plans in a very short space of time.

Home Instead caregivers can help stroke – and other brain injury – patients settle back into their home, allowing them to recover at their own pace.  Our staff are specially trained, with knowledge and experience to help clients with their long-term goals towards greater independence. 

We work with clients, families and health professionals to develop a tailored care plan making our services appropriate for a client’s needs and level of recovery.

For more information about post-stroke care at home, please call our team on 01978 660423.

To help raise awareness of stroke and to get involved with fundraising to aid research, please visit the national Stroke Association website