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Act FAST – Do You Know the Signs of a Stroke?

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, so we at Brandermill Woods wanted to remind you that strokes can happen any time, at any age. It’s important to recognize the signs of a stroke, and if you see someone exhibiting those signs, act quickly to call 9-1-1.

“Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, but not everyone knows the signs and symptoms,” said Mira Pallotta, Executive Director of Brandermill Woods. “The mnemonic device ‘FAST’ is easy to remember. Learning to recognize signs of a stroke and acting quickly to get medical care can help you save a life.”

A stroke, or “brain attack,” occurs when blood flow is cut off to an area of the brain, and the oxygen-starved brain cells begin to die. In fact, he National Stroke Association estimates that for every minute that goes by, a stroke victim loses 1.9 million neurons—affecting speech, movement, memory and more.

Spot the Signs of a Stroke

Because every moment counts, recognizing the signs and symptoms is critical. They usually come on suddenly, and include:

  • Numbness in the face or limbs, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion and trouble speaking or understanding
  • Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Severe headache

Act FAST: Face, Arms, Speech and Time

Use the acronym FAST to remember and recognize the warning signs of a stroke in others. To respond quickly and possibly save a life, keep in mind the following:

  • Facial drooping: a section of the face droops (and appears like a crooked smile)
  • Arm weakness: the inability to raise one’s arms
  • Speech difficulty: slurred or broken speech
  • Time: act quickly and dial 9-1-1

Finally, note the time that symptoms began. This will help medical professionals choose the best treatment.

Stroke Prevention Counts

As a form of heart disease, stroke is rooted in a combination of lifestyle and hereditary factors. While there is no controlling for heredity, lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and refraining from smoking will help control many risk factors for strokes. These lifestyle choices are especially important as we age.

At Brandermill Woods, our wellness experts are well trained in the symptoms of stroke, but more importantly, all of our staff recognizes the importance of prevention. Our mission is to redefine retirement, which means, in part, building a thriving a community that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks to our recent expansion, our residents have access to a new clubhouse to gather with friends, a wellness center to stay in shape, and delicious and heart-healthy meals in our formal dining room and our new casual bistro. These amenities and more are designed to help our residents stay healthy so they can enjoy every minute of their retirement.