Studies continue to show heart disease is the leading cause of death throughout the world, and that condition usually develops in the senior years. While an individual’s genetics play a small role, there are many other risk factors to consider. Luckily, older adults can do quite a bit to strengthen their cardiovascular systems and reduce their risk of heart disease.
Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet
One of the biggest risk factors for heart disease is a poor diet, which is just one of the many reasons seniors must be very careful about what they eat. There isn’t a single diet that’s going to work for everyone, but there are a few key food groups most older adults should focus on, including leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, whole wheat products, lean protein, nuts, and seeds. Seniors should also eat avocados, olive oil, plain yogurt, and other sources of healthy fat.
A professional care worker with training in nutrition and healthy lifestyle practices can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional care workers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust North Coast elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Stay at a Healthy Weight
Having extra body fat is another major risk factor for heart disease, and seniors should do everything in their power to stay within a healthy weight range. Eating nutrient-dense foods is a great start, but counting calories might be necessary as well. Until your loved one is at a healthy weight, get into the habit of weighing and portioning out his or her food. Many people have a difficult time determining how many calories they’re actually eating, which can make losing weight very challenging.
Avoid All Tobacco Products
Cigarettes and other tobacco products can wreak havoc on the cardiovascular system. Over time, these products constrict the blood vessels, weaken the heart’s chambers, and increase blood pressure. To quit tobacco products, seniors should speak with their doctors about nicotine replacement therapy. This type of therapy, which reduces physical cravings so seniors can focus on breaking the habit, often involves nicotine replacement products, such as patches, gum, lozenges, and oral sprays.
No matter how old seniors are, they should try to exercise for a few minutes every day. Most experts agree every older adult needs to raise his or her heart rate for at least 30 to 45 minutes per day, which can be done with traditional exercise or physically strenuous pastimes. Seniors who don’t enjoy jogging or lifting weights might want to pick up a physical hobby, such as hiking or dancing.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional care worker take over for you. North Coast respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family carers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family carers who are feeling overwhelmed.
Many seniors experience high stress levels, and untreated anxiety can greatly increase the risk of heart disease. If your loved one is constantly stressed, you might want to speak with his or her primary doctor or a therapist about stress-relieving activities. Some of the best ways to relieve stress include socialising with family and friends, writing in a journal, exercising, playing with a pet, and meditating.
A professional care worker can provide additional support for your efforts to help your loved one adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualised care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated care worker, call us at (02) 6646 3527 today.