How Stroke Severity Is Measured

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Measuring the Severity of a Stroke in Tucson, AZ

A stroke can impact a senior’s emotional, physical, and cognitive abilities for the rest of his or her life. If your aging loved one has experienced a stroke, an assessment can be used to evaluate his or her abilities, determine the best possible treatment, and predict future outcomes. 

Strokes are just one of the many serious health issues older adults are susceptible to. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Here’s some important information about assessing the severity of strokes. 

Understanding the NIH Stroke Scale

The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) is the most widely used tool for evaluating the neurological status of stroke survivors, and it can not only predict brain lesion size but also measure stroke severity. This scale can also predict your loved one’s short-term and long-term outcomes. 

The stroke scale analyzes many aspects, including horizontal eye movements, facial palsy, arm and leg movement, language abilities, sensation, and the ability to answer questions. These individual scores are used to calculate the NIHSS score, which ranges from 0 (no stroke symptoms) to 21–42 (severe stroke). 

This test is an excellent predictor of outcome. Someone who has a baseline score of less than 6 has a very good chance of recovery. Keep in mind current stroke scales that measure impairment only partially explain the impact on the person’s disability and quality of life. Some people adapt better to the impairments of a stroke, while some people with minimal neurological impairment may be severely disabled after a stroke. 

Most stroke survivors can live at home safely with the help of family members and professional caregivers. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Tucson senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

A Better Stroke Outcome

While the severity of stroke plays a big role in outcome, early rehabilitation can also help your loved one recover better following a stroke. An in-home caregiver can also provide assistance with daily activities, encourage healthy recovery habits, and assist with personal care, medication reminders, transportation, and more. 

Because every stroke is different in terms of the areas of the brain it affects and the deficits that occur, every recovery is different. Try to avoid making comparisons with another stroke survivor and have your loved one’s progress measured to determine how much rehabilitation should be provided. 

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Tucson, AZ, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555.


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