A senior woman participates in physical rehab after suffering a stroke.

What are the Effects of a Stroke?

As the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, it’s important to learn more about strokes just in case you or someone you care about is affected by this condition in the future. Many believe that stroke only affects seniors and those with other health ailments. But in fact, stroke can happen at any time, to anyone of any age. Every year, over 800,000 people in the US experience a stroke for the first time or suffer a recurring stroke. To learn more about the symptoms of stroke, read our article, Knowing the Signs of Stroke.

How Stroke can Affect You or Your Family Member

Stroke affects everyone differently, depending on the side of the brain that is impacted. The opposite side of the body is normally impacted during a stroke. For example, a stroke occurring on the right hemisphere can cause drooping on the left side of the face, while a stroke in the left hemisphere may cause numbness in the right arm. Aside from these conditions, stroke can also affect a person in these areas:

Physical Effects of Stroke

The physical effects of a stroke involve activities dealing with movement and motor skills. The muscles may contract involuntarily, such as a tight fist or curling toes. This condition is known as spasticity. Feeling fatigued after activities involving physical or mental focus and having double vision are other physical effects of stroke.

Mental Effects of Stroke

Depending on the area of the brain affected by a stroke, many mental abilities could be inhibited, or even lost, which may prevent individuals from continuing to live an independent living lifestyle. Here are some ways that stroke can affect a person mentally:

  • Attention: Stroke victims may lose the ability to pay attention for more than a few seconds. They are also easily distracted by activities around them.
  • Confusion: They may not know what happened to them. They may confuse people in their lives with someone else or may think they are in a different year altogether.
  • Memory: The most common memory problem is with short-term memory or learning new information within a short time span.
  • Processing speed: It may take longer for stroke victims to think and understand information. They may also have trouble organizing thoughts and solving problems.

Emotional Effects of Stroke

The emotional component of suffering a stroke involves proper emotive actions and feelings. Depression may set in weeks or months afterward. Symptoms of depression include persistent sadness, sleep disturbances, irritability and social withdrawal.

Stroke victims may act out of character, or their existing personality may become exaggerated. This can include being very aggressive, impulsive, or saying or doing things that seem inappropriate to others. Additionally, many people who have experienced a stroke report lowered self-esteem and feeling down and discouraged.

Stroke Recovery and Treatment

A stroke doesn’t have to be the end of the road for survivors. There are several ways in which people who have had a stroke can recover from this condition. Stroke rehabilitation options include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and mental health counseling.

Concordia offers short- and long-term rehabilitation services in our on-site health center. Each individual receives a specialized program of nursing care and restorative services from our highly trained and genuinely caring staff. Our stroke recovery treatment includes physical, occupational and speech therapies to focus on making the most of each and every day. Contact us today to discover how our compassionate care ensures the highest quality of life possible.

Health & Aging