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Lynsey Tomlins our Older Persons Team Leader has worked for Aspire for 10 years and tells us why being stroke aware is so important.  'My own father suffered from a stroke at work, aged 57, with no warning, and working in Community Living I often see how profoundly strokes can affect people’s lives.'

Here are Lynsey's tips to spotting the signs of a stroke and how you can lower the risk of a stroke.

What is a stroke? A stroke is an attack on the brain, it happens when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off causing the affected area to die. Strokes can happen suddenly without warning and are a leading cause of long-term disability. 

There are two vital factors in stroke awareness the first reducing risk factors and the second recognising the symptoms of stroke. 

The acronym FAST is  and easy way to recognise common symptoms 

•    Face: Can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
•    Arms : Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
•    Speech : Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
•    Time : If you see any of these three signs, it's time to call 999 .
The best outcomes for those who suffer strokes occur if medical treatment is given within the first hour. 

Managing lifestyle factors is also important for reducing the risk of stroke: 

Controlling your blood pressure, its estimated that this could reduce the numbers suffering stokes by 39%, ensuring you get enough physical activity and a balances diet as well as giving up smoking and monitoring alcohol intake can really help. Stressful situations and having diabetes can also increase risk.

You can find out more information at www.stroke.org.uk/makemaypurple

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