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Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

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posted: January 27, 2009

Timely Tips

Timely Tip: F.A.S.T. Way to Recognize a Stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart attack and cancer, claiming more than 160,000 lives each year. A stroke can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. If you aren't sure what to look for or what to do, memorize this: F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. should be easy to remember, if you're concerned that someone may be having a stroke. F.A.S.T. is recommended by doctors and paramedics for those of us who aren't medical professionals:

F = FACE: Face the person and ask them to smile. Is the smile symmetrical?

A = ARMS: Have them hold their arms out. Is the person able to hold both arms out at an equal height?

S = SPEECH: Have them repeat a simple sentence such as, "Today is Friday," or "It is raining outside." Do they have difficulty speaking?

T = TIME & TELEPHONE: Make a note of the time you first noticed symptoms. Medical personnel will want to know. Telephone 911.

If you note that the person has difficulty with any of these exercises, call 911 immediately. Do not wait to see if the symptoms get better. This will waste valuable time that you can't get back.

(Clip these F.A.S.T. instructions and post them where you can review them quickly should you need to.)

By Molly Shomer, MSSW, LMSW

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