EFS Staff

As you grow older, you become more at risk for unfortunate medical occurrences like strokes and diseases like Alzheimer’s. To have the best chances of an independent life after this type of tragic event, it is important that you and your loved ones are aware of the early signs of each of these, as well as how to properly proceed in the event that something happens.

Alzheimer’s Awareness

Many middle aged people are increasingly at risk of Alzheimer’s, but they do not know the early signs of the disease. This is a sobering thought, as not only are they at risk themselves, but their parents are also at an age where they are susceptible to the disease.  The risk of having Alzheimer’s increases substantially as we age.  One in 20 Canadians over 65 have Alzheimer’s, but this explodes to one in 4 for those over the age of 85. This is a great site to learn more about the 10 warning signs for Alzheimer’s.

In addition to being unaware of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, many people do not know what causes it. Obesity, depression, heart disease, and diabetes have been proven to increase the risk that you will develop this disease.  Being aware of the causative agents is the first step to mitigating the effect that the disease has on ourselves or the life of those around us. The Alzheimer Society of Canada has some excellent information about how to live with this disease.

Understanding Strokes

Not only are seniors more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease as they grow older, they are also at risk of a stroke. It is important that our elders and everyone around them know the keys signs of a stroke and what to do when they come across them. Understanding what is happening could be the difference between life and death in some cases, and permanent disability in others. If a stroke is treated within a couple of hours, chances of survival are much higher.

Most medical professionals will tell you that there are five key signs of a stroke.

  1. Weakness and sudden numbness in the face or limbs
  2. Trouble speaking and sudden confusion, even if it is just temporary
  3. Vision Trouble – Sudden trouble seeing things
  4. Unusual or severe headache that comes on suddenly
  5. Dizziness – a sudden loss of balance can indicate a stroke, especially when coupled with any of the above symptoms

Making yourself aware of these five signs will drastically improve your ability to warn someone you are having a stroke as well as notice it if someone else is.  For more information on how to recognize these symptoms or learn more about Heart and Stroke concerns, check out the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada’s website.

Being aware of the signs of Alzheimer’s and strokes is an integral part of treating not only yourself, but your friends and family if they suffer from either of these conditions. In many cases, timing is crucial and knowing the early signs can mean the difference between. Don’t let your loved ones suffer; make sure you are educated!

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