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Stroke Risk and Prevention

Stroke Risk and Prevention

Stroke is a leading killer and cause of permanent disability in the elderly in Australia.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted.  If your brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die.  A stroke can happen in two main ways.

Ischaemic Strokes are caused by a blood clot or plaque.  Haemorrhagic Strokes are caused by a break in the blood vessel in the brain.

Knowing that more than 80% of strokes can be prevented, highlights the need to be aware of mitigating risk factors and being able to recognise the signs that someone has had a stroke.


Risk Factors:

  1. Smoking
  2. Diabetes
  3. Hormone replacement therapy in older women


Signs of a Stroke:

  1. Agitation
  2. Nausea
  3. Seizures
  4. Loss of consciousness
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Sudden weakness or numbness in the arm, leg, face or one side of the body
  7. Sudden dizziness
  8. Loss of balance
  9. A sudden severe headache
  10. Face drooping
  11. Speech difficulty
  12. Loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes
  13. Difficulty swallowing


If your elderly loved ones show any of these symptoms, even if they don’t last, you need to get immediate medical attention.  Some people may also show no signs of having a stroke.  Time is of the essence in reducing the effects of a stroke.



Making some lifestyle changes may help to lower your risk of having a stroke.

  1. Manage Blood Pressure – Ensure your blood pressure is managed and monitored by your Doctor.
  2. Keep Moving – Exercise and avoid being too sedentary.
  3. Watch your Diet – It’s important to avoid foods high in saturated or trans-fats. Follow a healthy diet including fresh vegetables and fruits.
  4. Control Blood Sugar – People with diabetes have a higher risk of stroke.
  5. Quit Smoking – Smoking is a great contributor towards having a stroke.


The treatment for a stroke will depend on the severity of the stroke.  A number of hospitals will have a stroke unit, with a specialised stroke team.  Your loved one’s team of health care professionals will determine the road to recovery, based on the severity of the stroke.

At Homestyle we support many residents who have survived a stroke.  For more information about strokes please visit the Stroke Foundation.  If you would like more information on one of our homes please call us on (03) 9559 0400 or visit us here.

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