facebook Pixel

Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: (707) 843.4368

How Does a Stroke Change the Brain?

By , 9:00 am on

A stroke can be a devastating event for a senior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 795,000 people experience strokes annually. The type and severity of symptoms experienced depend on where the stroke occurs in the brain and the extent of the damage. Here are some of the changes that occur in various parts of the brain following a stroke.

Cerebrum

More than 65 percent of strokes occur in the cerebrum, which is the largest and uppermost region of the brain. The exterior layer of gray matter is called the cerebral cortex and is responsible for conscious thought processes, the integration of sensory input, perception, and purposeful movement. The cortex consists of the right and left hemispheres, each of which has specialized functions.

In right-handed people, functions governed by the right hemisphere include color perception, musical aptitude, spatial relationships, and visual interpretation. The left hemisphere is responsible for analytical functions, including computations, logical reasoning, language, and speech. In left-handed people, these functions, with the exception of speech, occur in the opposite side of the brain. Interestingly enough, both hemispheres are responsible for language and speech in left-handed individuals.

Any damage that occurs in the left hemisphere manifests in symptoms on the right side of the body. When the right hemisphere experiences damage, the left side of the body becomes affected. The cerebrum consists of four different lobes:

• Frontal lobe – The front region is responsible for motor function. Damage here causes physical weakness or paralysis on the opposite side. Frontal lobe strokes may also cause expressive aphasia, which affects gesturing, speaking, and writing.

• Parietal lobe – This lobe lies behind the frontal lobe and is responsible for receiving and interpreting sensory information. A stroke here causes sensory deficits on the opposite side, which may include numbness or visual abnormalities.

• Temporal lobe – The temporal lobes extend from the temples to ear level and are under the first two lobes. Damage here causes language difficulties that may involve deficits in reading, speaking, writing, and converting thoughts into speech.

• Occipital lobe – The occipital region lies on the rear of the cortex at the back of the head. This lobe receives and interprets visual information from the eye through the optic nerve. Damage here may cause seniors to lose the ability to recognize faces or interpret other types of visual data. 

Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Santa Rosa, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

Cerebellum

The cerebellum lies between the cerebrum and the brain stem toward the back of the head. This region controls physical balance, coordination, and posture. Damage here results in clumsiness or weakness. Seniors might have difficulty walking and experience long-term headaches. If swelling and fluid retention are high here, an older adult may be in a coma secondary to pressure in the brain stem.

The effects of a stroke can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without a caregiver close by at all times. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Santa Rosa live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.

Brain Stem

This area is located at the base of the brain in the back of the head. The brain stem maintains breathing, consciousness, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. Stroke damage here often leaves seniors comatose and in need of life support, and it can also lead to death.

A senior stroke survivor often needs very specialized care from someone with experience in providing support during stroke recovery. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (707) 843.4368 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.