According to the American Heart Association, strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, and nearly 800,000 Americans have strokes each year. While these cardiac events are devastating, quite a bit can be done to avoid them. Here are a few unusual steps seniors can take to lower their stroke risk and boost their cardiovascular health.
1. Take a Yoga Class
Heading to a yoga class a few times a week can have a major impact on heart health. In addition to increasing blood flow, this practice can also impact stress levels. As stress disappears, blood pressure naturally begins to drop as well. Unlike many other physical activities, yoga is very low impact, and most of the moves can easily be altered if your aging loved one has any flexibility or balance issues. You should be able to find an entry-level yoga class at a local gym, dance studio, or senior center.
Some seniors have mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely on their own. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Kingwood seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.
2. Skip the Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks aren’t directly related to cardiac events, but the extra calories could affect your loved one’s weight. Even if your loved one sticks to an extremely strict diet, it may be difficult to stay at a healthy weight if he or she drinks a few sodas every day. Losing a few pounds a month could lessen your loved one’s stroke risk by a substantial amount if he or she is currently overweight. Instead of drinking soda or juice, your loved one should stick to ice water with a few slices of fruit.
3. Avoid Salty Foods
Consuming a little bit of salt isn’t necessarily bad, but seniors need to be careful of their salt intake if they have family histories of cardiovascular conditions. A recent study published in Stroke and Vascular Neurology revealed that switching to a low-sodium diet can reduce stroke risk by as much as 10 percent. The Mediterranean diet is a great option for those who want to boost their cardiovascular health, and it’s filled with foods that are both nutritious and delicious.
For many seniors, shopping for fresh foods and preparing nutritious meals on their own can be challenging. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Kingwood, TX, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
4. Drink One Small Glass of Wine Per Day
Seniors should never consume more than two servings of alcohol per day, but drinking a single glass of red wine with dinner might be beneficial. Red wine contains a unique compound known as resveratrol, which can protect the heart and brain. In small quantities, resveratrol reduces general inflammation and acts as an antioxidant. If your loved one doesn’t like red wine, resveratrol can also be found in foods such as blueberries, raspberries, and peanuts.
5. Don’t Ignore Heart Murmurs
An irregular heartbeat can result in blood clots, and those clots might eventually make their way to the brain. Your loved one should immediately schedule an appointment with the doctor if he or she has an irregular heartbeat or can’t seem to catch his or her breath. This condition is usually treated with a mild blood thinner or an anticoagulant drug. Taking this medication daily normalizes the heartbeat and lessens stroke risk.
Some aging adults may need help making lifestyle adjustments to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiac issues. In Kingwood, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call Home Care Assistance today at 832-412-1345 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.