How to Reduce the Risk of Strokes in the Senior Years

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Nearly 800,000 Americans experience new or recurrent strokes every year. This condition takes place when the brain’s blood supply is suddenly cut off, and it can cause permanent disabilities. These acute attacks are extremely dangerous, but most seniors can reduce their risk of strokes by making a few changes to their daily habits. 

Get Active

Gently raising the heart rate a few times a week is one of the best ways to boost cardiovascular health. Before beginning any workout program, seniors should first speak with a doctor to make sure they are healthy enough to exercise. The doctor will most likely suggest moderate exercises such as riding a stationary bike or swimming laps in a local pool. Caregivers can encourage their loved ones to be active by asking them to take nightly walks or weekend hikes.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Bethlehem home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Switch to a Low-Sodium Diet

Seniors who have a family history of strokes or other cardiovascular conditions need to limit the amount of sodium and trans fat they consume every day. Both of these substances raise blood pressure, which can increase the risk of having a stroke. Many seniors can benefit from switching to high-fiber diets filled with fresh vegetables and lean proteins. 

Cut Out Alcohol and Tobacco Products

A recent Harvard Health Publication article has stated that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day raises an individual’s risk of strokes and heart attacks. Even those who only drink on the weekends or at social events can damage their arteries and veins if they drink too much in a single sitting. Completely cutting out all alcohol and tobacco products may lower a senior’s blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and sodium levels. 

Skip the Diet Soda

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why diet soda drinkers have much higher rates of vascular diseases, but many believe it has something to do with the artificial sweeteners. A recent study conducted at the University of Miami found that those who drank at least one diet soda every day were 61 percent more likely to have a stroke by the age of 65. Seniors and their caregivers should experiment with healthier alternatives such as flavored seltzer water and carbonated natural juices. 

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Bethlehem seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Schedule Regular Appointments with a Heart Specialist

Older adults should schedule checkups once or twice a year to be tested for high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, and diabetes. Many of these issues can easily be reversed as long as they are caught in the earliest stages. A heart specialist can provide more information on the early warning signs of a minor stroke so you can seek out immediate medical attention if your loved one experiences a stroke.

In Bethlehem, PA, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family. From stroke care to hospice support, Home Care Assistance offers a range of in-home care plans to help your loved one age in the comfort of home. Call one of our professional Care Managers at 484-350-3874 and create a customized stroke home care plan for your aging loved one.