Elder care is one of our most important jobs.
As Thanksgiving nears, we all begin to think about all we have to be grateful for in our lives. As one who is deeply compassionate about elder care and helping the families of loved ones needing elder care, I want to acknowledge National Family Caregivers Month. I appreciate the care you provide to your loved ones; there is no greater gift to another than taking time to care for them. Thank you for your strength and kindness.
As caregivers, it is very important to know when outside help is needed. One important caregiver skill is to be able to identify the early signs of a severe health problem. Did you know that stroke is the number 4 leading cause of death in the United States? The American Stroke Association lists stroke as the leading cause of adult disability as well. The sooner a stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances for avoiding severe long-term disability. The [American Stroke Association] has developed a simple plan to help you Act FAST if you suspect a stroke.
If you suspect a stroke, you should do the FAST test:
F Face – ask the person to smile. Do both corners of the mouth rise evenly, or does one side droop?
A Arms – check for weakness. Ask the individual to raise his or her arms up. Does one side start to sink?
S Speech – difficulty with speech may be noticed. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, and listen for slurring or other difficulty.
T Time – if you see any of these signs, it is time to call 911!
As a caregiver, you are the first and best line of defense for keeping your loved one safe and healthy. But it is critical to take care of yourself as well, and you should pamper yourself during National Family Caregivers Month. And if you are a caregiver looking into outside elder care options, please give me a call or send an email anytime!