How to Determine If Your Elderly Loved One Is Having a Stroke

Knowing the signs of a stroke could help your senior loved one get the help he or she needs and increase the odds of a successful recovery. The staff at Coast Care Partners, a trusted La Mesa caregiver agency, share some of the common signs of strokes, in addition to steps you should take when your loved one experiences a stroke. 

Face Drooping 

If you notice your loved one’s smile becoming lopsided, he or she might be having a stroke. The drooping takes place because the nerves that control the muscles in the face have become damaged. This is due to lack of oxygen or excessive pressure on the brain cells caused by bleeding. Make sure you pay close attention to your loved one’s smile and overall facial expressions. An uneven smile, numbness on one side of the face, and facial drooping are typical signs of a stroke. While waiting for emergency assistance, lay your loved one on his or her side, and make sure his or her head is supported and slightly raised to increase circulation. 

Severe Headaches 

Seniors who experience headaches without an obvious cause could be having a stroke. This type of headache is known as a thunderclap headache, and it is generally accompanied by other symptoms such as double vision and the inability to speak or comprehend spoken language. A thunderclap headache occurs without warning when the arteries that bring blood to the brain are damaged. If your loved one is experiencing severe headaches, seek immediate attention. Early treatment is key to preventing long-term damage caused by a stroke. 

Arm Weakness 

Stroke can cause paralysis or weakness in certain parts of the body, especially the arms. During a stroke, the body becomes too weak to move. Only one side of the body is generally affected during a stroke. If your loved one is unable to move his or her arms or a whole side of his or her body, he or she is likely experiencing a stroke. When this happens, call for emergency medical assistance. Try to loosen your loved one’s clothing while waiting for help.


Sudden confusion is a typical warning sign of a stroke. For instance, your loved one may have difficulty speaking or understanding others. A stroke generally affects the left side of the brain, which controls the ability to speak and understand language. If your loved one is having a stroke, he or she may also have difficulty writing words. When this happens, call for help immediately. In the meantime, do not give your loved one anything to eat or drink, and make sure he or she remains conscious until the ambulance arrives.

When a senior loved one has experienced a stroke and needs professional home care, La Mesa families can rely on the expertly trained caregivers at Coast Care Partners. From assistance with mobility to help with personal hygiene tasks, our caregivers are available 24/7 to help your loved one recover from a stroke safely and comfortably at home. Call 619-354-2544 to speak with one of our friendly representatives.