How to Reduce an Older Adult’s Risk of Stroke

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According to the National Stroke Association, over 790,000 Americans have strokes every year. While strokes can occur at any age, most of these events take place after the age of 65, which is why it is important for family caregivers to look out for new ways to reduce the risk of strokes among the elderly. 

Minimize Exposure to Smoke

Even if your loved one has given up smoking or never smoked at all, he or she might still be exposed to the toxic ingredients found in cigarettes and cigars. All seniors need to live in a completely smoke-free environment, and anyone who uses tobacco products should be asked to step outside before smoking. Those who have smoked in the past should also consider having their HVAC system thoroughly cleaned by an experienced contractor. Dangerous carcinogens can become trapped inside a home for years, and some studies have shown that airborne carcinogens increase the risk of having a stroke by as much as 30 percent. 

Maintaining healthy habits is often easier for older adults when they have the right support. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Des Moines home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Encourage Physical Activity

Finding a safe and effective exercise program can be challenging for seniors. Many older adults live with a wide variety of health issues that make exercising difficult. Instead of going on long runs or lifting heavy weights, seniors should stick to low-impact activities that gently raise their heart rate and burn some calories. Going for a short walk or gardening a few times a week are both great forms of exercise for seniors who have issues with their strength, balance, mobility, or dexterity. 

Seniors who need assistance with exercise should consider professional at-home care. In Des Moines, IA, home care 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.

Revamp the Diet

Scientists used to believe consuming fat would raise cholesterol levels, but they now know other ingredients such as sugar and simple carbohydrates are much worse for the heart. Most meals your loved one eats should be filled with fresh produce and lean protein sources. Your loved one also needs to limit the intake of deli meats and other foods that contain carcinogens. As for carbohydrates, your loved one should stick to natural options like brown rice, sweet potatoes, seeds, and beans. 

Limit Consumption of Alcohol

A few studies have revealed that one or two cups of red wine a week can boost heart health, but any more than that could be dangerous. Seniors who drink more than two servings of alcohol per day have much higher rates of strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular events. As a general rule, seniors also need to avoid alcoholic beverages that contain sugary ingredients like soda or juice. 

Don’t Ignore Diabetes

Most doctors now agree diabetes is one of the largest risk factors for strokes. Over time, untreated diabetes damages the blood vessels and makes it easier for blood clots to form. Once those clots reach the heart or brain, they can cause permanent damage. In addition to eating healthy and exercising, seniors who have glucose issues need to speak with a doctor about diabetes medication as well.

Seniors can stave off a number of diseases while aging in the comfort of home with the help of professional caregivers. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Des Moines, IA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call us at (515) 264-2438 to create a customized care plan for your elderly loved one.

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