According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes claim the lives of approximately 140,000 people in the United States annually. The number equates to a fraction of the nearly 800,000 adults who experience strokes each year. The debilitating damage caused by strokes varies from one person to the next, as the brain and central nervous system are very complex. Over time, the damage may heal and seniors may regain abilities with therapy. Here’s how strokes affect the brain.
Brain Stem Strokes
The brain stem lies at the rear and base of the brain. The area is responsible for many vital functions, including breathing, blood pressure, consciousness, heart rate, and digestion. Strokes occurring in the brain stem are commonly fatal. Someone surviving a vascular accident of the brain stem often requires life support and is likely in a coma.
The cerebellum region of the brain is found just above the brain stem. The cerebellum regulates physical balance, coordination, and posture. When seniors experience strokes in this region, they often have difficulty controlling muscle movements, which results in uncontrollable shaking. Strokes in the cerebellum are commonly followed by swelling that also affects the brain stem. As such, the senior may lapse into a coma.
Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Tampa senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
The cerebrum is the largest and uppermost region of the brain. The cortex is divided into the left and right hemispheres. The many functions of the cerebrum include cognitive abilities, physical movement, and sensory input. The right hemisphere enables spatial perception, visual input and output, and musical aptitude. The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for language comprehension and speech along with logical reasoning and analytical ability.
Each hemisphere is also divided into four distinct lobes: the frontal, the parietal, the temporal, and the occipital. A stroke in the frontal region commonly causes weakness on the side of the body opposite the affected lobe. Damage in the language area inhibits speech or the ability to understand speech. A stroke in the parietal region may affect vision on the side of the body opposite the affected hemisphere. Hearing, along with the senses of smell and taste, may also become depleted. Temporal lobe strokes may cause aphasia or speech and language ability deficits if the damage occurs in the language center. However, the most common symptom of strokes in this region is temporary memory loss. Strokes in the occipital lobe, or the back of the cerebrum, affect vision or visual interpretation.
The effects of a stroke can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without a caregiver close by at all times. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Tampa live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Limbic System Damage
The limbic system lies atop the cerebellum and is responsible for growth, reproduction, sleep patterns, and emotions. Although strokes in the limbic system are rare, when they do occur, older adults often exhibit strong negative emotions and disruptions of their libido and sleep patterns. The symptoms experienced when the area is damaged may be temporary or permanent depending on the extent of the trauma.
A senior stroke survivor often needs very specialized care from someone with experience in providing support during stroke recovery. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care services. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (813) 488-5804 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.