It’s one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, and seeking medical attention immediately can not only save your life, it can also save your quality of life. In this post, you’ll discover how to identify a stroke, including the four most common warning signs you should look for. We’ll also share an easy trick for remembering these warning signs, which could help you stay focused in an emergency situation.

4 Stroke Warning Signs

If you’re wondering how to identify a stroke, here’s a simple acronym that can help: FAST. Here’s what it stands for:

  1. Facial Drooping – Also known as facial paralysis, this happens when the nerves controlling certain muscles in the face become damaged within the brain. Ask the person to smile and look for one side or the other to droop.
  2. Arm Weakness – Often times during a stroke, one arm or leg will become numb, even paralyzed. Ask the individual to raise their arms with palms facing up. If one arm begins to drift downward, it could be caused by a stroke.
  3. Speech Difficulty – Depending on which area of the brain the stroke is impacting, it could cause noticeable disturbances in the individual’s ability to speak. Ask the person to repeat a basic phrase, and listen closely for garbled, slurred or otherwise irregular speech patterns.
  4. Time – If you observed any of these signs, it’s time to call 911. Take care to note when the first symptom was discovered because this information could help the medical team make important treatment decisions.

Recovery After a Stroke

No two people recover from stroke the same way. That’s because stroke affects each person differently depending on the areas of the brain impacted. During recovery, stroke victims may need to adjust the physical, social and emotional aspects of their lives. Along with these changes may come feelings of anger, anxiety or depression. All of this is normal, and rehabilitation after suffering a stroke is designed to address these challenges and more.

Find Help After Stroke at Western Home Communities

If someone you care about has suffered a stroke, our assisted living community offers long-term support that helps people maintain their independence and stay as active as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our community options or to schedule a tour where you can experience what makes Western Home Communities a wonderful place to call home.