This May, the American Heart Association and several other organisations are drawing attention to the disabling impacts of a stroke during National Stroke Awareness Month.
Strokes generally tend to affect older people, but persons of any age can suffer a stroke. The impact of the stroke may be much higher when the patient is an elderly person. A stroke can result in severe consequences that make it difficult for a person to lead a normal life. For instance, when the stroke has affected the right side, the impact also includes loss of speech and communication impediments. There may be weakness in the hands and upper extremities. This makes it difficult for the affected person to lift his arm or to grasp objects. Needless to say, the inability to perform these actions can mean an inability to perform many manual tasks.
Weakness in the legs or paralysis in the lower extremities could also mean that the person is unable to walk or ambulate without an assistive device. Swallowing is another function that can be affected by a stroke. This can directly affect a person’s health because it makes it difficult to swallow his food. Swallowing impairments cause malnutrition, severe weight loss and extreme fatigue. Failure to maintain bladder control is another distressing side effect of a stroke that can impair the person’s ability to lead a normal life, including his ability to work and earn a living.
Stroke organizations urge everyone to participate in stroke awareness by:
- getting active and participating in the Steps to Stop Stroke step challenge;
- commiting to making a change and improving a stroke risk factor; and
- sharing the resources on the National Stroke Awareness Month with friends, family and the community to help everyone learn more about stroke.