If one of your loved ones was doubled over with chest pain, having what appeared to be a heart attack, or witnessed someone sustain severe injuries, you would probably call 911 so they could receive medical attention as quickly as possible. What if you observed someone suddenly lose the ability to speak, move parts of his or her body or have trouble seeing? Would you react the same way? The answer is probably yes, if you recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
With about 795,000 Americans suffering strokes each year, there is a good chance that you or someone you know has been (or will be) affected by this disease. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of one.
Many people have problems speaking and understanding speech following a stroke. This difficulty with communication is called aphasia. It usually comes on suddenly as a result of a stroke or head injury, but brain tumors and infections of the brain can gradually cause language problems.
Recovering from a stroke can be a challenging time for stroke survivors as they relearn how to care for themselves, overcome mobility issues, or change how they communicate. Caregivers can help by encouraging their loved one to be as independent as possible, helping them make their own decisions, and promoting participation in leisure activities. Caring for a stroke patient should be tailored to individual needs, such as resolving problems with coordination and balance, overcoming difficulty...