Aware Senior Care Blog

 What is a stroke and what are the symptoms?

What is a stroke and what are the symptoms?

You may have heard of a stroke called by its medical term, Cerebrovascular Accident or CVA.

What is a stroke? Simply put, a stroke is a ‘brain attack’. It occurs when a blood vessel or vessels in the brain are either blocked or burst. When this happens an area of the brain may not get all the necessary blood supply it needs and brain cells die. 

Depending on the area of the brain that was affected, the person’s ability to speak, see, and move may become impaired.
When I thought about strokes, I assumed it was something that happened primarily to seniors. I was surprised to learn that strokes can happen to anyone, at any age, at any time. 1 out of 5 people who have a stroke are under the age of 55. 

There are nearly 7 million stroke survivors in the US. It is the 5th leading cause of death in our country. More women die from strokes each year than from breast cancer.

There are ways to lower your risk of having a stroke: 

Keep medical conditions under control such as:
  • High blood pressure 
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking
There are risk factors which we cannot control such as:
  • Gender- women are at a higher risk
  • Race
  • Age
  • Family history
In the past on the Aware Senior Care bog, we've discussed FAST, the signs of a stroke
  • Facial droop
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 911. 
There are other signs to look for and knowing all 10 may save you or someone you love:



It is essential to call 911 immediately if you notice any of these signs. 

In fact, it’s OK to overreact if you suspect a stroke.  
image description