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Signs of a Stroke and What to Do


Every year, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke.  There are multiple signs of a stroke, and there are steps you can take to identify a stroke and minimize its effects.  This blog will discuss the signs of a stroke in both men and women.  They share some of the same signs, but women may present with some different or additional signs.  We will also discuss what to do if you or someone you know is having a stroke.  This information is important for everyone as strokes do not only occur in the elderly.

There are six stroke symptoms that men and women share in common and an additional four symptoms that only apply to women.  These signs are important to know so that you can recognize a stroke in yourself or someone else. The acronym F.A.S.T. can be used to help you detect a stroke quickly and, hopefully, minimize its effects as much as possible.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Every 3 minutes and 14 seconds, someone dies of a stroke.  Taking these statistics into account, it is essential that everyone, not just the elderly, knows the signs of a stroke so that when it is happening to someone you love, it is quickly identified.  The faster the person receives treatment, the better the odds of recovery.  Let’s look at the signs of a stroke, as well as what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke.

Signs of a Stroke in Men and Women

There are certain signs of a stroke that occur in both men and women.  These signs are:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble walking or lack of coordination
  • Severe headache without a known cause

There are additional signs of a stroke that occur only in women, just as women often show different signs than men during a heart attack.  These signs are:

  • General weakness
  • Disorientation & confusion or memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting

Is a TIA a Stroke?

TIA is the common abbreviation for Transient Ischemic Attack, also known as a mini-stroke.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Transient ischemic attacks usually last a few minutes. Most signs and symptoms disappear within an hour, though rarely symptoms may last up to 24 hours.  The symptoms are similar to those of a stroke and can include:

  • Weakness, numbness, or paralysis in the face, arm, or leg, typically on one side of the body
  • Slurred or garbled speech or difficulty understanding others
  • Blindness in one or both eyes or double vision
  • Vertigo or loss of balance or coordination

It is important to identify TIAs when possible as they are an early warning sign that you could be in danger of experiencing a stroke.  About ⅓ of people who experience a TIA will eventually have a stroke, often within a year.

What To Do if You Suspect Someone Is Having a Stroke

The acronym F.A.S.T. is what you need to remember if you think someone may be having a stroke. 

F – Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A – Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T – Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.

If you are alone and suspect you are having a stroke, make your way to a mirror to administer the test on yourself.  Can you smile without one side of your mouth or face drooping?  Can you raise both arms and keep them both raised equally?  Can you repeat a phrase that you are thinking in your head?  If you are showing any of these stroke signs, if possible, call 911 immediately.  If you can’t talk, just stay on the line.  They will send help.


People sometimes move to an assisted living facility after a stroke. They may need extra help with their daily living, or they may simply want to live somewhere full-time that has a medical staff in case an emergency ever arises again.  Either way, Victoria Landing is worth checking out!  It is senior living at its finest.  Located on the Indian River in Melbourne, FL, just over the causeway from the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, Victoria Landing is a community of vibrant seniors sharing life together.

We offer a wide array of activities to keep both your mind and body active and healthy.  With an onsite fitness center, swimming pool, and walking paths, as well as a movie theater, card room, and craft room, we offer something for everyone!  We offer three delicious meals a day, so you don’t have to spend time cooking and cleaning.  You can just enjoy the company of friends.

With onsite staff 24/7, including trained nurses, you can feel secure that your needs will be met.  If you require daily living assistance or simply want the peace of mind that someone is nearby in case you need help, Victoria Landing is the place for you.  Give us a call or go to our website to schedule a tour today.  We look forward to welcoming you as a neighbor and friend!

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