Stroke in Seniors – What You Need to Know.

Despite advances in modern medicine, medications and medical technology, stroke is still one of the leading causes of disabilities and reduced quality of life in older adults. The incidence of stroke disease increases with age, in both men and women, with approximately fifty percent of all strokes occurring in people over the age of seventy-five and thirty percent over age eighty-five.

Types of Strokes in Seniors

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to parts of the brain is interrupted or reduced, thereby preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients and causing brain cells to begin to die in numbers.

There are three main types of stroke:

  • Ischemic Stroke: This happens when the brain’s blood vessels become narrowed or blocked causing severely reduced blood flow. Blocked or narrowed blood vessels are caused by fatty deposits, blood clots and other debris that lodge in the blood vessels of the brain.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures.

Brain leaks or ruptures are caused by-

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Over treatment with blood thinners(anticoagulants)
  • Bulges at weak spots in the blood vessel walls(aneurysms)
  • Trauma(such as a car accident)
  • Ischemic stroke leading to hemorrhage,

Some older adults may have only a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain this is known as

  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): A transient ischemic attack (TIA) sometimes known as a mini stroke, is a temporary period of symptoms similar to those that would be experienced in a stroke. A TIA doesn’t cause permanent damage like an ischemic stroke, a TIA occurs when a clot or debris reduces or blocks blood flow to parts of the nervous system.

Emergency attention should be sought if it is suspected that an older adult showed symptoms of TIA even if the symptoms get better.

Causes and Risk Factors of Stroke in Seniors

Generally, older adults are more likely to be affected stroke if they:

  • are overweight or obese
  • have a family history of stroke
  • high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol
  • have diabetes
  • have heart disease
  • consume excessive alcohol
  • smoke or use illicit drugs

Knowing the Signs of a Stroke

Seek medical attention immediately if your loved one shows any of these symptoms:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Prevention of Stroke in Seniors

Older adults can achieve the prevention of a stroke by:

  • Eating a healthful diet
  • Maintaining a moderate weight
  • Not smoking tobacco
  • Avoiding alcohol totally or taking it in moderate quantities
  • Exercising regularly
  • Controlling blood pressure levels

Although the chances of having a stroke is especially high in older adults, directed actions to manage risks and facilitate age-appropriate treatment can reduce its occurrence and impact.

While these may affect the quality of life to a certain extent, we believe that it should not stop you or your loved one from living a meaningful life. We are committed to providing the care that’s right; we are committed to supporting families in any situation.

Alzheimer’s Disease – What You Need To Know

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia that gradually destroys brain cells, affecting a person’s memory and their ability to learn, make judgments, communicate and carry out basic daily activities. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a gradual decline that generally progresses through three stages: early, middle and late stage disease. These three stages are distinguished by their general features, which tend to progress gradually throughout the course of the disease.

As the disease progresses, it is expected that abilities and skills decrease and the need for support and supervision increases. The early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

The most commonly noticed early symptoms of Alzheimer’s is difficulty in remembering newly learned information.

A serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way the mind work due to failing of brain cells are signs of middle stage of the disease.

The late or advanced stage of the of Alzheimer’s in the brain leads to increasingly severe symptoms such as disorientation, mood and behavior changes, difficulty in speaking, swallowing, walking, difficulty in remembering family, friends and familiar environment.


Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.

The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease aren’t fully understood, but at its core are problems with brain proteins (Plaques and Tangles) that fail to function normally, disrupt the work of brain cells and unleash a series of toxic events.

The damage most often starts in the region of the brain that controls memory, but the process begins years before the first symptoms. The loss of brain cells or neurons spreads in a somewhat predictable pattern to other regions of the brains. By the late stage of the disease, the brain has shrunk significantly.

One of the best ways to keep the brain functioning optimally is a healthy lifestyle. By doing this, many of the risks associated with developing Alzheimer’s disease (examples are diet, obesity, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes)


There is no treatment that cures Alzheimer’s disease or alters the disease process in the brain. In advanced stages of the disease, complications from severe loss of brain function — such as dehydration, malnutrition or infection — result in death.


Alzheimer’s disease is not a preventable condition. However, a number of lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s can be modified. Evidence suggests that changes in diet, exercise and habits — steps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease — may also lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that cause dementia. Heart-healthy lifestyle choices that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s include the following:

  • A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables that contain lots of antioxidants is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

It is interesting to note that eating well provides greater benefits than taking supplements or higher doses of vitamins, which may be associated with side effects. There is also solid evidence suggesting that a Mediterranean diet (including foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains) also appears to lower risk of disease.

  • Physical exercise is another lifestyle habit that can lead to tremendous benefits both for the heart and for the brain.

Physical exercise can also promote a healthy body weight, which is ideal given recent studies that higher body mass index is associated with a higher risk of type II diabetes, which in turn is associated with higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Walking, running, playing sports, dancing and strength training all come with tremendous benefits to brain health.

  • Activities like reading, playing games, solving puzzles, cognitive training all can slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease or reduce risk.
  • Keeping socially active also appears to be protective against Alzheimer’s disease and associated with healthy brain aging.
  • Follow treatment guidelines to manage high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol
  • If you smoke, ask your doctor for help to quit smoking

Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and it is estimated to rank third alongside with heart disease and cancer in the nearest future.

Strong Tower Home Health can assess the needs of your loved one to create a person-centered care plan that fits the unique circumstances of your family. We are trained to recognize changes in your loved one’s behavior.

Preventing and Managing Cancer in Seniors-What You Need To Know.

Cancer is a concern for people of all ages but the disease is especially prevalent in the elderly. Research has shown that more than 60% of new cancers are diagnosed in individuals who are 65 years or older. Older adults are more likely to develop cancer even if no one in their families have had it.

Common Cancer Cases in Seniors.

For older adults, some of the most common cancer cases diagnosed are the:

  • Lung Cancer: Eighty percent or more of all cases are in adults over the age of sixty.
  • Bladder Cancer: Seventy percent or more of all cases are men between the ages of fifty and eighty.
  • Breast Cancer: Eighty percent of all breast cancer occurs in women over fifty and sixty percent are found in women over sixty five years.
  • Prostate Cancer: Half of all cases are in men over the age of seventy five.

Warning Signs or Symptoms of Cancer in Seniors

Early detection and recognizing certain warning signs are important factors those caring for older adults need to be aware of.

The warning signs or symptoms of the cancer cases in older adults mentioned above includes:

  • Lung Cancer: Elderly patients will experience intense and ongoing coughing, chest pain (caused by coughing), breathing difficulty, chronic pneumonia, feeling tired or weak, loss of appetite, voice hoarseness etc.
  • Bladder Cancer: Elderly patients will experience frequent urination, blood in urine, burning sensation while urinating.
  • Breast Cancer: Changes in the feel or appearance of the breasts. For example- wonky breast, lump in the breasts or its surrounding, nipple discharge other than breast milk, pain in the nipple area etc.
  • Prostate Cancer: Burning or pain during urination, difficulty in urinating, frequent urges to urinate at night, loss of bladder control, pain or stiffness in the hips, lower back or upper thighs. Decreased flow or velocity of urine stream, etc.

Treating Cancer in Seniors

Cancer treatment can be more challenging and complicated for older adults. It affects older adults in different ways and treatment varies and is applied, depending on the stage of the cancer and existing comorbidities.

  • Lung Cancer: Treatment is appropriate for older adults at any stage of lung cancer. Treatment includes surgery, stereotactic body radio therapy (SBRT), radio frequency ablation, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, etc.
  • Bladder Cancer: Depending on the stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment options can include-bladder cancer surgery, intravesical therapy for bladder cancer, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.
  • Breast Cancer: Breast cancer can be treated using the following methods- surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy, and lymph node dissection), chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, etc.
  • Prostate Cancer: Based on an aged patient’s clinical performance and other factors such as existing comorbidities, aged patients might require treatments like- surgery, focal therapies, systemic therapy, radiation treatment, targeted treatments, hormonal therapy etc.

Cancer and its treatment cause physical symptoms and side effects as well as emotional, social and financial effects and it is important that elderly patients are helped to manage these effects through palliative/ supportive care.

Lifestyle Changes to Manage and Prevent Cancer in Seniors

To improve or boost treatment, prevent cancer recurrence and avoid infections, older patients need to make changes in their lifestyles. Some of which includes:

  • Lung Cancer: Quit smoking, supportive therapies (e. g oxygen therapy, speech therapy and supportive devices), reduce risks of infection (by keeping a good hygiene, avoid touching the eyes, mouth and nose, etc.), make dietary changes, exercise regularly, manage fatigue and seeking the support of others etc.
  • Bladder Cancer: Staying properly hydrated, eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and caffeine, keeping a healthy weight by exercising regularly, avoiding constipation, etc.
  • Breast Cancer: Being physically active, avoiding smoking or intake of too much alcohol, eating healthy, keeping weight in check, etc.
  • Prostate Cancer: Choosing a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, taking natural supplements, reducing stress, etc.

Nowadays, cancer death rates in the elderly are decreasing and the chances of surviving cancer are better than ever before – thanks to the possibilities brought by scientific and technological developments.

We at Strong Tower Home Care Services LLC, are committed to helping individuals lead a healthy life and manage existing health conditions. With us, hope is given a chance.

Reducing Physical Injury Occurrence in Seniors.

Geraldine is just twenty four years old and had just returned from school for a break, while every other member of her immediate family went out for their individual daily activities, Geraldine will be staying home today with her grand-dad.

At about 7:10am that very chilly morning, just before her mum turned on her car engine to go for work, she had called out to her daughter Geraldine, in order to remind her not to forget about Grandpa’s appointment with the Doctor, since she was going to have a very busy day at work and will not have the time to be back home before close hour in order to take grandpa for his monthly check up at the state hospital.

“Geraldine, the taxi driver will be here by 12pm, do make sure to be ready before then, so you do not keep him waiting.” Her mum stressed.

It was 10 am, the buzz from Geraldine’s phone was loud enough to jerk her up from the nap she decided to take. She walked lazily out of her room, into the sitting room, where her Grandpa sat cozily on a couch watching Disney channel.

“Grandee, your check up is today and you will need to go inside and change from your knickers into pants, the taxi driver will be here in less than two hours.” Geraldine said, wrapping her hands around her granddad with a peck to his cheeks.

“Okay, okay, that’s alright.” Said the old man, as he picked up his walking stick beside him, stood up, then walked to his room, placing each foot ahead of the other with a lot of care and attention.

At about 11:32pm, Geraldine was all set, she sat on a couch in the sitting room, waiting for grandpa to step out, so they could leave, the driver was early, he arrived at exactly 11:30am.

“Papa,” she called out, but there was no response.

“Grandee, you ready?” She called out again, yet, there was still no response. She stood up, and then walked towards Grandpa’s room, just before she placed her hand on the door knob to push it open,

“Pa, the driver is here, we’ve gotta go.” She said as she pushed the door open, only to find his granddad sitting on the floor, looking all tired and sad.

“Pa?” “Why are you on the floor?” She asked. “I fell down…” “I was trying to…”

Apparently, while Geraldine’s Grandpa was trying to wear his pants, he felt dizzy, his vision blurred, so he missed his steps and fell to the ground. Lifting himself up was a problem, so he sat down there, looking at his bruised ankles and knees.

As parents age, a lot of factors can contribute to incidence of falls around their supposedly safe space, as a result of this, it is then very important to ensure that it is prevented or at least reduced considerably.

Vitamin D supplements have been recommended to be very helpful by health personnel to build firmer bones. The space occupied by the elderly should not be cluttered and the need for good lighting around the house to enhance clearer vision cannot be overlooked.

Minor exercises should be encouraged and practiced to improve balance. Stairways should have firm railings for support.  Avoid unnecessary movement that could lead to falls. We recommend having someone nearby to support patients.

These are all areas where the services of health personnel are critical to a patient’s success. This is where we come in.  Strong Tower Home health Services, LLC is a dedicated team of caring individuals.  Our strength is rooted in our understanding and practice of true compassion and empathy. We provide top notch home care services to our clients.  Our services include Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Companionship, Medication Management.  All of this can be done in the comfort of our client’s home. We do it all with a loving heart ensuring a safe and caring environment for your loved one/s. We treat our patients the way that we would want our own mother and father to be treated.