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The Warning Signs of a Mini-Stroke

A “mini-stroke” or transient ischemic attack (TIA) happens when a blood clot in the brain blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Unlike a full-blown stroke, the blockage of blood flow is transient or temporary and it does not destroy the brain’s tissue. Yet, getting immediate medical attention remains the key in preventing short and long-term cognitive damage. Home Care Assistance, a trusted Westfield senior home care provider, encourages families to learn the symptoms of a TIA so they can protect the health of a senior parent or loved one.

  • Weakness on one side of the body or hemiparesis. You may notice that your senior loved one is extremely clumsy and is dropping things. In other instances, your loved one may not be able to walk, move their arms or legs, or their facial muscles.
  • Disturbances in speech or dysphasia. Individuals experiencing a TIA may not be able to understand what you’re saying or may have trouble recalling words and expressing their thoughts. If you notice your loved one suddenly communicating, you may want to seek immediate medical attention.
  • Temporary blindness in just one eye. This condition is called transient monocular blindness. During an episode, a senior’s vision can become obscured in just one eye. If this happens, your loved one may speak about objects looking grey or blurry. The blindness may last for a few seconds or for a few minutes.
  • Sudden intense dizziness or a lack of coordination. Dizziness and loss of balance may be signs of a TIA, especially in individuals with risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Your loved one may need to sit down suddenly or have trouble walking.

Symptoms of a mini-stroke can vary in duration from a few minutes to a few hours. In some cases, people may find that their symptoms last up to a day. Even though most mini-strokes will result in permanent brain tissue damage, it is important to get medical care for your loved one as soon as possible. Tests to confirm a TIA may include a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI.

If your senior parent or loved one has already experienced a TIA or stroke, know that support services such as stroke care in Westfield are available. Home Care Assistance is a trusted, local provider of in-home care and our trained stroke caregivers can provide daily assistance so that seniors and their families can enjoy peace of mind. Call 908.450.9400 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.