Stroke Prevention Day and one small change – what can you do to reduce your risk of a stroke, and how can PKB help?

Supporting the fight against stroke

Patients Know Best is our social mission. We believe we can achieve this mission when every person:

  1. Owns a copy of all their health information
  2. Understands what this information means
  3. Uses this understanding to make shared decisions with family members o carers and healthcare professionals.

As part of our company mission, we have pledged to support the Stroke Association in their mission to educate individuals on the risk factors associated with stroke and what can be done to reduce or manage that risk.

Make One Small Change

Today, Thursday 14th January 2021, marks the Stroke Associations first Stroke Prevention Day. The Stroke Association is launching a 3 month programme that encourages individuals to sign up by 31st January to make a pledge of #onesmallchange and learn the lifestyle changes that can be made to help reduce the risk of stroke. 

New research commissioned by the Stroke Association found:

Only 1 in 20 (6%) UK adults think they’re at high risk of a stroke, despite the fact that more than 1 in 5 (21%) adults will have a stroke in their lifetime 

Half (47%) of the country don’t know that high blood pressure is a top risk factor for stroke

3 in 4 people (73%) said that they have had no information about stroke reduction recently. This rockets to over 4 in 5 (85%) of over-65s, who are most at risk of having a stroke

9 in 10 (89%) strokes are associated with modifiable risk factors; lifestyle elements that can be changed to reduce risk. Here are some factors: 

  • Stop or reduce smoking
  • Stop or reduce alcohol consumption
  • Adopt a healthy diet 
  • Increase exercise 
  • Acknowledge and use techniques to reduce or manage high blood pressure and cholesterol 
  • Manage diabetes effectively.  

Further information about this programme including how to make your pledge can be found here. Once you have signed up, the Stroke Association will share tailored advice, monthly hints, tips and some fantastic resources to help guide your personal journey. 

Log your journey in PKB

For PKB users, once you have made your pledge, why not also log your journey in your PKB record? You can build good habits and track these where appropriate, or share them with clinical teams or family members to help you stay on track. 

For example, things you can do to monitor (as explained in more detail here) your health are:

  • Food and drink habits:
    • Track alcohol intake and aim for a decrease in your graph
    • Track meals and calories consumed 
      • Breakdown of fat, protein and carbs (if you are taking your meal balancing really seriously!)
  • Exercise
    • Is your pledge to build up to a certain number of steps a day? Did you know that with PKB you can link your wearables and apps to save this information alongside your health data? This gives you quick and easy access to the data to help assess if you’re hitting your targets. 
  • Smoking
    • Track the number of cigarettes consumed per day and keep motivated as you watch your numbers decrease
  • Diabetes:
    • Link your glucometer or track your HbA1c to more easily spot trends. You can also share this with your healthcare team if needed.
    • Track your diet and exercise (as mentioned above).
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol levels:
    • Link your devices or manually enter this information to start tracking.
    • High blood pressure is a common cause of stroke. There are often no symptoms of high blood pressure so checking your blood pressure regularly is a great habit to get into. If you have high blood pressure, lowering your blood pressure through lifestyle changes or medicine can help to lower your risk and you can monitor your achievements against this in the same way.

PKB Partner, OMRON Healthcare, are sponsors of today’s Stroke Prevention Day and supporters of the growing stroke prevention movement. OMRON has many products designed to educate patients about their condition and facilitate meaningful change. 

You can also use our library feature to save helpful links to resources such as those offered by the Stroke Association. Here, you can upload documents and leaflets that you find useful to guide your journey. In addition, you could track your progress in a more detailed or holistic account of your journey and your ups and downs via the journal

Why not combine your pledge and any actions you will take in a care plan designed by you as explained here

Simple rules to build better habits

Here are a simple set of rules that you can use to build better habits which also increase the likelihood that you will follow them: 

  1. Make it obvious
  2. Make it attractive
  3. Make it easy
  4. Make it satisfying.

With this in mind, set yourself up for success by making a realistic pledge of #onesmallchange here and find the easiest way to track your progress in your PKB record. And remember, it’s important to reward yourself on your successes and be honest about where you may have struggled. This can help to assess what you could do differently to make this less likely to happen next time. That way, this doesn’t just have to be your three month programme, it will become the start of a lifelong change, supporting greater health and wellbeing.

Are you a PKB clinical user? Are you doing anything to support your patients on stroke prevention? If yes, why not get in touch with your Success Team Lead or Account Manager and discuss how we can support you with your stroke prevention plans.

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