To Inform Families First

When emergencies happen

Accidents That Change Us

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Jul 12, 2019

In this life, accidents are always waiting to happen. Of course, the difficult thing about accidents is that they are just that- unpredicted, unplanned events that can often change the course of our life, for a short time or forever. While we can’t prevent accidents from happening, the Crusaders for Change at TIFF’s Initiative are eager to help you feel armed and protected from life’s accidents as much as possible.

One specific example of unplanned events that can leave us forever changed is that of a stroke. Stroke victims usually do not see a stroke approaching, and often don’t even realize it’s happening in the moment! However, the ramifications of a stroke can leave someone forever changed, especially if not properly tended to immediately. So we’re here to help you recognize, prepare for and even possibly prevent a stroke, and to know what to do in the event that you or someone you love might just be experiencing this life-altering incident.

First, recognize that someone may be suffering from a stroke with the following quick, easy-to-remember acronym: FAST.

Facial drooping. If you believe someone you know is experiencing a stroke, ask them to smile. If part of their face droops, this could be a sign that they are in the middle of having a stroke.
Arm weakness. If the person is unable to raise their arms to shoulder height on their own, this could be another sign of a stroke.
Speech difficulty. Are the slurring their words or having difficulty repeating a simple phrase clearly? This, combined with the previous symptoms, could be indicative of a stroke.
Time to call for help. Call 9-1-1 immediately and get professional help as soon as possible. Every moment counts in terms of long-term recovery when someone is experiencing stroke symptoms.


Don’t wait!

Of course, being aware of what causes a stroke and creating a lifestyle that minimizes the risks is paramount. While genetic factors like age and family history simply are what they are, we suggest you take stock of the following, and make any changes necessary to reduce your risk of having a stroke in the first place:

  1. Lower blood pressure. High blood pressure in the #1 cause of strokes, so whatever you can do to reduce your blood pressure will also reduce your risk of having a stroke.
  2. Lose weight. This is critical for improving many health-related concerns, including high blood pressure, so talk to your physician about the best plan for you.
  3. Exercise more. Just 30 minutes a day, 3-4 days per week, can be exponentially beneficial for your heart and your overall health, as well as reducing your risk of stroke.
  4. Only drink in moderation. A little alcohol daily can actually reduce your risk of stroke, but take it easy, and opt for one glass of red wine whenever possible.
  5. Treat atrial fibrillation. This condition can increase your risk of stroke five-fold, so do not neglect to have it treated.
  6. Treat diabetes. These conditions, which can lead to blood clots that move to the brain, put you at higher risk for strokes.
  7. Quit smoking. We know you know- now is the time. Smoking thickens the blood, which can lead to clots, which can lead to stroke. Time to quit.


While these strategies can help you reduce the risk of stroke, or act fast in the event of a stroke, we still find it important that your friends and loved ones are all registered with an Emergency Contact System like TIFF. In the event of a stroke or other severe medical emergency, EMTs, ER personnel and other first responders will have the ability to contact someone immediately, giving them the opportunity to be with you through a difficult season. It also allows your emergency contact the ability to make significant medical decisions for you in the event that you can’t make them for yourself. In the event of a stroke or other life-threatening medical catastrophe, it’s important to have someone you trust available and on site to make major decisions for you. So register here for free in minutes, talk to your emergency contact to determine what you’d prefer in the event of medical crises, then get to work keeping yourself safe and healthy.

Remember, accidents are just that- unplanned, unforeseen, and unexpected. Be as prepared as possible when you’re registered with TIFF.

“You never know you need it until YOU need it!” ~Jon Stuart, SCORE mentor

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