Did you know that a person suffers a stroke every two seconds, with a fatal stroke occurring every 10 seconds? Every year, 15 million people suffer a stroke, a figure equivalent to more than 60% of Australia’s entire population; and one in 10 deaths globally can, in some degree, be attributed to stroke. It is the second most common cause of disability worldwide and kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
These figures are frightening, to put it mildly. Is there anything we can do to lessen the risk of being included in such statistics?
Some risk factors for stroke are inevitable – old age, family history, gender (women are more likely to suffer a stroke) – but many other factors are under our control. A poor diet, a lack of exercise, excessive smoking/alcohol consumption, drug abuse, and high blood pressure all contribute to increasing the likelihood of a person suffering a stroke. We have the power to change all of these things; it’s simply a matter of also having the diligence and self-discipline to do so.
Although many stroke sufferers survive the attack, their lives will almost certainly change irrevocably. Those who survive a stroke often suffer paralysis, loss of vision or cognitive problems as a result. They could also have new-found difficulty with everyday tasks such as swallowing, speaking coherently or understanding the speech of others. In addition, the person’s mood could change rapidly from placid one moment to volatile the next.
What can we do to lower our risk of stroke? What should we do if we think somebody is suffering a stroke? How should we care for loved ones who have survived a stroke? The answers to all of these important questions are contained in this infographic from Home Care Plus (http://www.homecareplus.ie/).
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