- FACE: Has their face fallen on one side. Can they smile?
- ARMS: Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
- SPEECH: Is their speech slurred?
- TIME: Time to call 999 if you see any SINGLE ONE of these signs.
When a stroke strikes, act F.A.S.T.
A stroke is a serious and life-altering condition which can prove fatal that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off.
When someone is suffering a stroke, it is a serious medical emergency. If you suspect that you or someone else is suffering a stroke:
- call 999 immediately
- ask for an ambulance
Finding support for stroke
Visiting your local Community Advice Hub could put you in contact with the best support and activities to help cope with living with stroke. You can visit the hubs in:
Taking a look for care providers and support organisations for visual impairment in your Solihull Directory is also a good place to start your search for help and information in and around Solihull.
There are a number of local charities and national charities working locally. They supply essential help, support and advice for people experiencing sight loss, their carers, family members and providers.
The Stroke Association is a national charity which provides a vital support services right here in Solihull for people living with stroke.
Helping people to live full and enjoyable lives, there are support groups throughout the local area, which you can search for entering just a few simple details on the Stroke Association Support page.
You may also find it helpful to visit the Solihull Stroke Survivors group website, which is a voluntary group of the Stroke Association, helpful.
Reducing your risk of stroke
Living a full and healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce the chances of suffering from a stroke.
A number of lifestyle factors also increase the risks associated with having a stroke.
However, your risk of stroke can be reduced by:
- cutting down or quitting smoking
- achieving a healthier weight
- increasing your exercise
- improving your diet
- reducing your alcohol intake
People who are living with certain medical conditions may also be at an increased risk of suffering a stroke, including:
- high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the biggest contributory factor to stroke risk as a result of a weakening of the artery walls
- high cholesterol causes a build-up of plaque in arteries, restricting blood flow to the brain, eventually leading to stroke
- atherosclerosis is another major risk factor as a result of fatty plaque build-up in the walls of the arteries
- atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib or simply AF, is an irregular heartbeat which heightens the risk of stroke by 5 through causing blood to pool and clot in the heart
- diabetes, with sufferers also likely to experience other complication such as heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol
- blood disorders, such as severe anaemia and sickle cell disease if not treated
People who are suffering from heart disease or who have experienced a stroke previously also have an increased risk of having a stroke.
If you are worried about what risks your lifestyle poses to you, you should speak with your GP for advice.
Full advice and information about stroke is available from the NHS Choices website.
Know the signs and symptoms of a stroke - FAST
Someone experiences a stroke about every 3 to 4 minutes in the UK today.
Most of the people who experience a stroke are aged over 65. However, it is a condition that can affect anyone at any time, from very young babies and toddlers to someone in their 30s.
Every year in the UK, around 1,000 people under the age of 30 suffer a stroke.
The earlier someone who is having a stroke is treated, the better it is. Acting FAST minimises the damage cause, increases recovery rates and lowers recovery time.
Being FAST can simply save the person you love, so it is important you know how to spot a stroke immediately.
The major symptoms of a stroke, and how to react to it, can be remembered with the word FAST. It stands for: Face. Arms. Speech. Time. It means:
When a person is suffering a stroke, it is common for them to experience their FACE dropping to one side. If this happens, they will be unable to form a smile. You may also, or alternatively, notice that their mouth or eye may have dropped.
It is also a common symptom of a stroke that raising both ARMS is impossible. Caused by a weakening or numbness in the arms, they will also be unable to hold them there.
The third most common symptom of a stroke is a person’s SPEECH, which may become slurred, garbled and altogether unintelligible They may also lose the ability to speak altogether
If ANY of these symptoms are seen in someone, it is TIME to call 999. An ambulance will be sent immediately.
When things become difficult
Solihull Council can provide care and support for people experiencing stroke.
As well as helping you develop skills to look after yourself at home, it can also help with:
- taking medication
- making meals and drinks
- coming back home after being in hospital or residential care
If you are finding it very difficult to live safely at home and are concerned, you can contact us to request an assessment.
A qualified worker will work with you, and your carer or representative if you would like, to discuss your needs and identify how to help:
To understand your level of care an assessment will be conducted. The assessment will take place in your own home whenever is most convenient for you.
The assessment process will discuss what support you need to let you live your life in the best way possible, from understanding your care and support needs to helping maintain and improve your personal wellbeing.