Cardiovascular disease, commonly known as heart disease, is a serious concern for seniors. Currently it is estimated one million people in the U.S. die each year from the complications of cardiovascular disease. Because of the high incidence, it is important for you to help your senior loved one do everything he or she can to reduce the risk of developing this condition.
1. Convince Your Loved One to Stop Smoking
Cessation of smoking, even if the habit is light or infrequent, is a key way to help keep your loved one’s heart healthy. While smoking is dangerous to the heart at any age, seniors are especially at risk of developing heart disease from smoking. Quitting, however, quickly reduces the risk. Even those who have smoked for many years and quit are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than current smokers.
2. Inspire Weight Loss
The older a person’s body gets, the harder it is for the heart to handle excess weight, and a senior’s heart handles strain less effectively than that of a younger person. Also, the tendencies for obesity also increase since the body requires fewer calories as we age and become less active. However, extra pounds can be a huge factor in developing heart disease, so making sure your loved one is at a healthy weight can prevent future heart-related issues.
3. Suggest a Healthy Diet
Cooking meals, especially balanced ones, can become more difficult for seniors, making them more likely to turn to convenience or processed foods. However, these foods are not the healthiest choices for your loved one’s body and often don’t contain the foods that can help keep the heart healthy such as leafy green vegetables, fruit, and legumes. If you notice your loved one isn’t eating a diet that promotes heart health, hiring a Westfield part-time caregiver to help with the cooking, having meals delivered, or sharing your family meals can be good options to ensure he or she is eating the healthiest diet possible.
4. Encourage Regular Exercise
In addition to the other benefits it provides, including exercise in your loved one’s daily routine can be a huge factor in preventing cardiovascular disease. Exercise helps keep the heart muscles strong and regulate conditions that cause heart disease to develop such as high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. Since seniors are more likely to have these risk factors, exercise is even more important at your loved one’s age.
As your loved one ages, being aware of common health conditions seniors face such as cardiovascular disease can help you take proper preventive measures. With the help of Home Care Assistance, you don’t have to do this alone. Our caregivers can assist your loved one with daily exercise, nutritious meal preparation, and a wide variety of other important tasks. For more information on elderly home care Westfield families trust, and to schedule a complimentary consultation, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400.