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Caring for Stroke

By Janie Rosman, Staff Writer

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Caregivers must be patient with their loved ones and with themselves and know the signs of a stroke. The two major types of stroke are ischemic and hemorrhagic. To lessen the possibility of death and disability; the F.A.S.T. acronym is important:

F = Face: Is one side of the face drooping down?
A = Arm: Can the person raise both arms, or is one arm weak?
S = Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing?
T = Time: Time is critical!! Call 9-1-1 immediately!

Types of Stroke

In an ischemic stroke, which accounts for 80 percent of all strokes, a blood vessel becomes blocked by a blood clot; a portion of the brain becomes deprived of oxygen and will stop functioning. When a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain bursts and spills blood into the brain, a portion of the brain is deprived of oxygen and stops functioning, resulting in a hemorrhagic stroke; this accounts for about 20 percent of strokes.Mini-strokes are Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) and have the same symptoms as a major stroke. A blood clot blocks the flow of blood in the brain and breaks on its own; symptoms can disappear after a short period of time, however this can be a warning sign of a future stroke.


Stroke rehabilitation doesnít reverse the strokeís effects; it helps the individual return to independent living, aiming to build strength, capability and confidence.

  • Self-care skills such as feeding, grooming, bathing and dressing

  • Mobility skills such as transferring, walking or self-propelling a wheelchair

  • Communication skills in speech and language

  • Cognitive skills such as memory or problem solving

  • Social skills for interacting with other people


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