Writing the Book on Aging in Style

The Boomer Generation has truly written the book on aging in style, with retirement being viewed as a new, exciting chapter, full of opportunities and excitement.

Unfortunately, certain health problems didn’t get the memo, including stroke.

Stroke is defined as a failure of blood circulation to the brain, that occurs either by a blockage of blood flow or by a blood vessel bursting (hemorrhage). When oxygen can’t reach brain cells, they die, causing  a variety of symptoms that can result in memory loss, paralysis, even death.

Warning signs of Stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, particularly on one side
  • Sudden confusion – trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden onset of vision difficulty in one or both eyes
  • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or trouble walking
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Other signs may include double vision, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting

Signs may last for just a few moments, then disappear. But it is essential to pay attention to these signs that your brain is not receiving adequate oxygen, and to seek medical treatment right away.

While stroke can occur at any age, studies show that the risk of stroke doubles for each decade between ages 55 and 85.

Although men have a higher risk of stroke, more women die from stroke.

Stroke also is more common – and deadly – for African Americans than for any other race.

And stroke also tends to run in families – although it is unclear if the cause is purely genetic, or if common lifestyle choices contribute to this tendency.

While age, gender, ethnicity and genetics cannot be changed, there are some very treatable risk factors, including:
Controlling high blood pressure – maintaining proper weight, eating a healthy diet, reducing salt and increasing potassium, even medications, can help reduce your risk of stroke due to high blood pressure. Studies show that hypertension causes a two- to four-fold increase in stroke risk before age 80.
Quitting smoking – cigarette use has been linked to a two-fold increase in the risk of ischemic (blockage of blood vessels in the brain or neck) stroke, and a four-fold increase in the risk of hemorrhagic (blood vessel burst) stroke. Nicotine also raises blood pressure, increasing your stroke risk.
Controlling factors such as heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol imbalance – whether taking medications or making nutrition and lifestyle changes, stroke risk is reduced when these disorders are addressed.
Inactivity and obesity – studies show that having a waist circumference to hip circumference ratio equal to or above the mid-value for the population increases the risk of ischemic stroke three-fold.

*Source – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Learning the warning signs and risk factors for stroke, and seeking immediate medical attention, are essential to reducing your stroke risk.

Maintaining your health is easier when you are living the life you’ve always dreamed of in your  low-maintenance ranch-style Windsong home. Each Windsong active retirement community was designed to help Boomers enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle, with walkable streets and a private fitness center in the clubhouse, neighbors with similar life-stage experiences, and home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide an opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle.

Welcome home to Windsong  – Where Life’s A Breeze!

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