A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is also called a mini stroke. The TIA may be extremely minor or only occurs for a very short time, unlike a full stroke that can last from several minutes to as long as several days. Transient ischemic attacks can even be so quick that your senior doesn’t fully realize that she’s experiencing a health issue, much less an actual stroke. Here are some symptoms to watch for, just in case.
During and after a TIA, your senior may not be able to speak. She may also be confused when someone speaks to her, resulting in responses that may not make sense at all. This can be even more frightening than anything else that she’s experiencing because she’s unable to communicate what she’s experiencing.
Depending on where in the brain the TIA occurs, your elderly family member may not be able to see well or at all. This can happen in one eye or in both. Her vision may return as she recovers from the TIA, or it can become an issue she has to deal with for a lot longer than she expects. Your senior’s doctor and her eye doctor can work together to determine what long-term impact the TIA is likely to have on her vision.
Even a minor TIA can leave your elderly family member with dizziness, coordination issues, and balance problems that make it impossible for her to walk. She may even experience numbness or weakness on one or both sides of her body. A combination of these symptoms can leave your senior unable to move in any kind of coordinated manner.
Changes to Senses of Taste or Smell
One surprising symptom might involve your senior’s senses of smell or taste being affected by a TIA. Your senior’s nose and mouth gather information that her brain processes and translates into smells and tastes. Because the TIA affects how your senior’s brain processes information, what she smells and tastes can most definitely be affected by the mini stroke.
Recovery from a TIA varies from one person to another. Your elderly family member may need more help than she expects to need as she recovers. Having senior care providers available ensures that your aging family member has the extra assistance she needs as her brain and her body heal from her mini stroke. That extra support can make all the difference for her recovery.