Raising awareness about stroke is important for countries across the globe. As one of the leading causes of death in most countries and the fourth leading killer in the United States, strokes are no rare occurrence. Today is World Stroke Day and recognizing the symptoms in a medical emergency may help you or a loved one save a life in the future, so understanding the risk factors and signs of a stroke is key.
Strokes in the US
A stroke is a disease that is typically caused by a blood clot blockage in the blood vessel that leads to the brain. In more rare cases, the blood vessel actually bursts. Both of these problems cause oxygen to stop flowing from the brain, which causes the brain to stop functioning properly and brain cells to die.
More than 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke every year, and more than 130,000 of those strokes are fatal. Responding to a stroke victim and getting them to the hospital quickly is crucial to reducing the chance of disability or fatality, which is why it is so important that people learn to recognize the various symptoms of a stroke.
Recognizing the Symptoms
The most common symptoms of a stroke include:
– numbness of face, arm, or leg (usually on one side)
– confusion, trouble speaking or understanding others
– vision problems, inability to see
– loss of coordination and balance, dizziness
– severe headaches
How to React
If you ever witness someone experiencing these problems, call 911 right away and report a possible stroke. Quick reaction time can save that person’s life and reduce the long term damage that they suffer. Unfortunately, more than half of all Americans have one or more of the top three risk factors for stroke, which are high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. Lack of exercise, diabetes, obesity, poor nutrition, and excessive alcohol consumption can greatly reduce your chance of stroke, as well.
Strokes lead the nation as the number one cause of a long term disability, due to the severe brain damage that a stroke can incur, especially if not treated quickly. Planning for a stroke is an impossible and unpleasant idea, but if one should ever occur, it’s important that you have prepared for the potential costs. Long term care insurance offers coverage for those medical emergencies no one wants to think about, like a stroke, a bad fall, or dementia.
Cost of Care
The cost of a caregiver for a stroke victim, or any other long term care patient, is extremely steep. If you are able to find an in-home health aide, the out of pocket cost usually tops $2,000 monthly. If a long term care facility is chosen instead, the costs go up even more, to anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 a month.
These high costs leave many people stuck in a dilemma: provide unpaid care or pay for care until the bank account is empty. Most people opt for family caregivers, at least initially, in an attempt to defray the costs of long term care. The stress that this type of situation places on a family is tough, though, and is also not without cost.
Long term care insurance can help you avoid the need for a family caregiver and provide you with the peace of mind that should you ever suffer a stroke, or any other unthinkable medical disaster like a stroke, you won’t be worried about paying for care. Read more about stroke and the other leading reasons for long term care or request more information today.