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Awareness of Stroke Warning Signs, Treatment and Recovery: Stroke Awareness Month 2024

Stroke Awareness Month is important to our team at Age Care Bathrooms because we truly understand the impact on mobility and independence a stroke can have. In this blog, we will discuss stroke warning signs, diagnosis, treatment and recovery, plus home adaptions that can help support people with the long-term effects of a stroke. 

Early Signs of a Stroke

Early awareness of stroke signs and symptoms is critical to ensure treatment is received in the vital three-hour window to reduce the harm a stroke can cause and help prevent death. 

Fast symptoms for stroke

The most common early stroke warning signs can be remembered by learning the F.A.S.T. test, developed in 1998 in the UK by paramedics and stroke physicians.


The F.A.S.T test below is from the NHS England website:

  • Face
  • Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? 
  • Arms
  • Can they raise both their arms and keep them there? 
  • Speech
  • Is their speech slurred? 
  • Time 
  • Time to call 999 .

Signs of Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) Mini Strokes 

A TIA, often called a mini-stroke, causes the same symptoms as a stroke and can be identified by using the F.A.S.T test above. The key difference between a stroke and a TIA is that a TIA mini-stroke does not cause long-lasting symptoms. Many people dismiss TIA symptoms because once they pass, they feel well again.


If you or someone you care about experiences these symptoms, it is vital to see a doctor and get checked out. Early diagnosis and treatment of a TIA can substantially reduce the risk of a stroke in the future. 

Symptoms of a Silent Stroke 

Obvious symptoms do not accompany silent strokes; however, they still cause damage to the brain and are an indicator of a higher risk for a future stroke. Additionally, if a person has two or more silent strokes, they may be at greater risk of developing dementia or another type of progressive brain disease.


Identifying the symptoms of a silent stroke is important to ensure a diagnosis and treatment is received, one that can lower these risks. Although numerous other conditions can cause the symptoms of a silent stroke, they can simply be due to ageing. It is advisable to speak with a doctor if you notice that someone has developed these symptoms, and they then resolve within a couple of days. They are:

  • Balance problems
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Trouble speaking
  • Memory problems
  • Mobility issues.


The risk of having a silent stroke increases significantly in people who have high blood pressure and in people who are over 65 and have a heart condition called atrial fibrillation. Still, it can happen to anyone at any age. 

Diagnosing Strokes

Various tests are used for diagnosing strokes. When a silent stroke or TIA is suspected, the same tests may also be requested by a GP following a physical examination and blood test results.


Imaging tests that may be used to diagnose a stroke include the following:

  • Computed tomography (CT) — this is a CT scan that uses X-rays to create detailed images of the brain. They are typically used immediately after a stroke is suspected to look for any signs of bleeding in the brain.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — an MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed images of the brain. Unlike a CT scan, an MRI scan detects damage to brain tissue and can be used at any time to diagnose a stroke.

Stroke Treatments

Stroke treatments will vary and are dependent on the type of stroke, how early a diagnosis was made, current medications a person takes or any other diagnosed medical conditions.


Treatments for a stroke 

Treatment for a stroke will depend on the degree of bleeding and damage to the brain.


The most common medications used are blood pressure, blood thinning medications (anticoagulants) and statins.


Surgical procedures that may be performed for a stroke include the following:


Carotid endarterectomy — this surgical procedure involves making a small incision in the neck to access the carotid arteries. Another incision is then made in the arteries, and fatty deposits (plaque) are removed. This is generally performed under a local anaesthetic shortly after a stroke. Under the current NHS guidelines, a carotid endarterectomy is the first line of treatment for the majority of people following a stroke diagnosis. 


Carotid artery stent placement — This procedure is an alternative to carotid endarterectomy and is generally performed using a local anaesthetic. During this procedure, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into the groin, and a balloon is inflated at the end of it to enable a stent to be placed inside the artery. This treatment is performed less often as it has a higher associated risk of causing another stroke or death.


Which procedure is performed will depend on various factors, such as any other medical conditions the person has, personal preferences and how long it has been since the most recent symptoms of stroke have occurred. 

Treatment for TIA stroke

The medications and surgical procedures used for the treatment of a TIA stroke are the same as for a stroke. However, if scans have found a blood clot in the large artery in the brain, a surgical procedure known as a thrombectomy may be performed. This is generally done when a TIA has been diagnosed early. This may be done under a local or general anaesthetic. 


The actual procedure is similar to a carotid artery stent placement procedure, but instead of using a balloon to insert a stent, a device is inserted through the catheter into the brain, which removes the blood clot.

Recovery from a Stroke

Recovery from a stroke will depend on several factors. Some people will have a full recovery, but according to the UK Health Security Agency, more than 50% of people become disabled following a stroke. 


Following a stroke, some issues that people may have include:

  • Weakness or paralysis affecting a single side of the body
  • Issues with coordination or control of movement  in the arms and legs
  • Difficulties swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Alteration in behaviour and demeanour
  • Emotionally instability 
  • Issues with understanding, memory and reasoning
  • Changes to smell and taste
  • Difficulties with reading and writing
  • Speech problems
  • Loss of vision
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mobility difficulties
  • Lack of spatial awareness
  • Incontinence.


Rehabilitation following a stroke will normally involve treatment from a combination of therapists, such as physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists. 

Fatigue after Stroke 

Post-stroke fatigue is a debilitating symptom that affects many people. Both physical and mental fatigue are common after a stroke and can be difficult to manage. Fatigue can occur even after a good night’s sleep, but sleep-related breathing disturbance is also a cause. 

7 tips to help you get better sleep

1. Have a set time to go to be and wake up every day

2. Avoid caffeine and having a large meal for at least four hours before bed

3. Don’t drink alcohol before going to bed

4. Have a bedtime routine, such as a bath or shower before bed

5. Don’t use your mobile or computer for a couple of hours before bed

6. Open a window in your bedroom for a few hours before bed

7. Listen to soothing music in bed for 10 minutes before you try to go to sleep.

Home Adaptions Following a Stroke

Mobility, balance and vision issues after a stroke can significantly impact your independence in your home. Depending on your symptoms, you may need to make some home adaptions to help you live safely in your home. 


There are numerous ways to make your home more accessible and make your life easier. Below are ten home adaptions or aids that can help with daily tasks following a stroke.


1. Stairlifts

2. Low bed with risers

3. Walk-in baths or mobility wet rooms 

4. Raised toilet seats

5. Lever door handles

6. Riser recliner chairs

7. Grab bars and handrails

8. Non-slip flooring

9. Adjustable height stools or chairs for the kitchen

10. Smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home to control lights, heating and other devices with voice commands.


Related Reading: Bathroom Safety Equipment at Home

Funding for Home Adaptations: Disabilities Facility Grants (DFG) 

You can apply for a Disabilities Facility Grant (DFG) if you are disabled and require home adaptions to continue living safely at home. Your local council may then arrange for an occupational therapist or an assessor to come to your home and assess what home adaptions will support you with day-to-day tasks and activities. You can apply for a DFG through your local council.


For over 30 years, Age Care Bathrooms has been creating and building mobility bathrooms. Just call our team or complete our online form, and we will assist you in selecting the bathroom that best suits your requirements. 

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