Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Caregivers Guide to Reducing Stroke Risk

The Caregivers Guide to Reducing Stroke Risk

As far as National holiday and month observances go, May is a fairly busy month. There’s Mother’s Day, Cinco De Mayo and Memorial Day. In addition, less popular but equally important, May is host to National Stroke Awareness Month.

According to statistics, strokes are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 140,000 people dying each year as a result of a stroke. Furthermore, strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in the US. Although people of all ages can suffer from a stroke, 3/4 of the nearly 795,000 annual strokes occur in people over the age of 65.

As you can see by the aforementioned statistics, the issue of elderly strokes is fairly prevalent and it continues to grow each year. This is why President George H. W. Bush signed the Presidential Proclamation 5975 in May of 1989 declaring May as National Stroke Awareness Month. Each May since that year, the government, National Stroke Association, American Heart Association and a number of non-profits combine efforts to raise awareness of the deadly force of strokes.

Stroke Symptoms

Considering that each minute a stroke goes untreated nearly 2 million brain cells die, having an awareness of prevention methods and warning signs can ultimately save the life of your elderly loved one.

There has been an increase in the number of “silent” strokes, which fall in the category of unrecognized brain abnormalities. Often these strokes go undetected until a brain imaging has been completed, or the victim displays additional side-effects of a stroke. Although, these often go undetected, there are plenty of other symptoms to keep an eye out for.

The American Stroke Association recommends watching for:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs
  • Quick onset confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding
  • Vision issues
  • Trouble walking, dizziness and balance issues
  • A severe headache that comes up suddenly
  • Lack of coordination

Men and women also display stroke symptoms differently. In addition to the above symptoms, women should also be cautious of sudden:

  • Hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations

Preventative Measures

Now that you have a general idea of what to look for, we have gathered a list of preventative measures you and your elderly loved ones can take to help decrease their risk of experiencing stroke in the first place. Like any other health issues, some minor preventative measures will go a long way.

Lower Your Blood Pressure

Statistics show that high blood pressure nearly quadruples your chances of experiencing a stroke. To maintain a healthy blood pressure level you need to have a healthy diet, reduce/quit smoking and partake in 30 minutes of daily physical activity.

Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Much like blood pressure, keeping a healthy body weight will greatly reduce your risk of a stroke. Exercise kills multiple birds with one stone, not only will you maintain a healthy body weight and blood pressure, you will feel better about yourself and be happier.

Moderate Drinking

Unlike smoking, which you should quit immediately, it is ok to drink alcoholic beverages– just in moderation. Just make sure you watch your portions. If you do decide to keep drinking, make red wine your first choice, as it is the healthiest option.

These are just a few of the many ways you can help your elderly loved one reduce their risk of experiencing a stroke. If you would like more help, feel free to reach out to us here at Wiser Home Care Services. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

Mother's Day: 3 Unique Ways To Show Your Mother Love

Mother’s Day: 3 Unique Ways To Show Your Mother Love

No matter how much pain, anguish and anxiety we have put them through, our mothers continue to love us. In fact, when you think about it, no one has ever known and loved us longer than our mothers, which is why countries all around the world devote one day a year to them. For the United States, Mother’s Day 2016 takes place on May 8, 2016.

When you consider everything they do for us, it almost seems like one day a year devoted to them isn’t enough. If it was up to us, we would devote every day to them. However, since we aren’t in charge, we have to settle for making the most out of the one day that they do get.

So, the question is, what do you get someone who has given so much to you? According to statistics, the top gifts moms want this year are something homemade, dinner, a greeting card or gift cards. Coming up with the perfect gift for your elderly mom can be difficult.  In order to help you make this Mother’s day one to remember, we have come up with some easy and thoughtful Mother’s day gift and activity ideas.

Things To Do Together

Often the best thing you can give your mother is your time, especially if you don’t see her often or if she lives alone or in a senior living facility. Whether it’s a phone call, an in-person visit or a trip out of the house for dinner, your mom will love the time you give to her. Some possible activities you can do with your mother include:

  • Taking a trip down memory lane- Ask her about when she was younger or look through old photo albums. You could also digitize her photos to keep them safe for generations to come.
  • Help around the house- When you were growing up your mom constantly picked up after you, return the favor and help her clean her living space.
  • Craft time- We have several great mother’s day craft ideas on our Pinterest page.

Don’t Buy, Create.

Anyone can go out and purchase a gift, and while your mother would still appreciate it, a homemade gift is at the top of the most wanted mother’s day gift list. Here are some ideas of something you can create for your mom:

  • Flowers die, pictures live forever- Create your mom a photo bouquet with pictures from the years. She will love it and won’t need a green thumb to keep it alive.
  • Build a Memory Box- All you need is a box, paper and a pen. Write down all your favorite memories of your mom throughout the years.
  • Food- Everyone loves a good home-cooked meal. Most likely your mother was the one who taught you how to cook. Bake her some meals that can be frozen and reheated so she won’t have to worry about cooking for a week or two.

The Last Minute Purchase

If you’re running out of ideas and time here are some thoughtful gifts you can buy your mother:

  • Head phones and a gift card for audio books
  • A cooling pillow- These pillows will help keep your mom comfortable during menopausal hot-flashes.
  • Meal delivery service
  • Public transportation pass- She will love the ability to get out of the house.

We hope these ideas help you create the most memorable Mother’s Day for your mom. From all of us here at Wiser Home Care Services, Happy Mother’s Day.