According to the National Stroke Association, about 185,000 of 795,000 strokes in Americans are recurrent strokes.
Additionally, it is said that within 5 years of a stroke occurring, about 42% of men will experience a recurrent stroke, whereas roughly 24% of women will experience another stroke. A recurrent stroke is exactly what it sounds like; a stroke that keeps occurring after an individual experience their first stroke.
What Causes a Recurrent Stroke?
When an individual suffers their first initial stroke, he or she likely went to their medical professional in order to discuss his or her next steps. Presumably, their doctor will have discussed with them what caused their stroke in the first place, albeit there are several different risk factors for experiencing a stroke. Perhaps the best way to prevent a recurring stroke is to confer with a medical professional regarding a health plan to get the individual who experienced a stroke on the healthiest path possible. This will help prevent a stroke in the future, especially when they are the most susceptible in the first five years after a stroke.
Aforementioned, there are several different risk factors that put humans at risk for an initial stroke, as well as a recurrent one. Such risk factors include:
- Poor diet and eating unhealthy foods often. This may mean something entirely different to different people, as dietary needs vary from person to person. Speaking to a doctor or a nutritionist can give stroke patients the guidance he or she needs to get the nutrients their body needs in order to mitigate risk of another stroke.
- Irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation or Afib, puts individuals five times more at risk for a stroke. It is imperative to control an irregular heartbeat and ask medical professionals to check for heart health during regular checkups.
- Smoking puts individuals at risk for developing several medical conditions, including doubling their risk for a stroke. It is advised that an individual cease all tobacco use after their initial stroke, in order to prevent another from occurring.
- High blood pressure and cholesterol both put individuals at a higher risk for suffering a stroke, especially after one has already occurred. Working with medical professionals to get on the proper medication regimen will help combat another stroke from occurring.
- Being physically inactive puts individuals at a high risk for numerous medical conditions, stroke being one of them. Staying active, as advised by a medical professional, can help an individual ward of recurrent strokes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Being a frequent alcohol drinking makes the probability of a second stroke go up, especially if alcohol was a contributing factor to the initial stroke. Avoiding alcohol all together is a great way to not only feel better but to help prevent another stroke from happening.
Can a Caregiver Help Prevent a Recurrent Stroke?
Hiring an in-home caregiver is perhaps one of the best ways to prevent a stroke from recurring, as their sole job is to make sure you are happy and healthy. As an individual continues to heal after a stroke, they may need assistance around their home or with their prescribed care plan that their medical professional has given them. A professional caregiver can help a stroke patient in the following ways:
- Providing personal care assistance in order to maintain his or her personal hygiene, including assisting with their dressing/grooming and going to the bathroom.
- Light housekeeping will allow the stroke patient to heal in the cleanest and most relaxing environment possible. Caregivers can help maintain the cleanliness of the home through organization, laundry, washing dishes and taking out the trash.
- Meal preparation assistance ensures the individual is eating proper and in compliance with his or her prescribed meal plan.
- Medication reminders is perhaps one of the most beneficial services for those who have suffered from a stroke. By having a caregiver there to remind them to take their proper medicine, the stroke patient will not be at risk for a recurring stroke due to a lack of medication in their system.
- Companionship serves as a way to ensure the stroke patient is feeling heard, recognized and valued during their healing process. Hiring a caregiver for companionship purposes will allow the individual to feel as though they are cared for!
Preventing a recurring stroke can be challenging when someone is in the thick of stroke recovery, but it is completely possible with the proper support system and guidance. With the help of a caregiver and abiding by the proper prescribed care plan, a stroke can be a one-time occurrence.