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Strokes are common and disable more Americans than any other illness. While many people become caregivers as a result of their loved one having a stroke, it is also possible that the person you are already caring for can have a stroke.  Therefore, it's important that you are aware of the symptoms of a stroke.  There are five major signs to watch for:

  1. Numbness
  2. Confusion
  3. Difficulty Seeing
  4. Walking imbalance/dizziness
  5. Headache

 Not all people who experience a stroke have all five symptoms but most people have several.  Strokes are often preceded by TIAs, often referred to as mini strokes.  The same symptoms are seen but they resolve quickly, without residual problems.  However, TIAs should be taken seriously and reported to your doctor because they are very often a sign that a stroke may be imminent.  If the doctor is notified (s)he may be able to intervene to prevent a full blown stroke. 

Caregivers report that the difficulties caring for someone who has had a stroke are physical and emotional.  If the stroke can be prevented through early detection, a better quality of life for the patient and caregiver can be assured.