Did you know that more than 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year? While there are uncontrollable risk factors for stroke such as age, gender, race and family history, there are many things senior’s can do to actively lower overall risk. Today, the Fort Myers home care experts at Home Care Assistance offer some general information on healthy habits that every senior should develop for protection against strokes.
1. Enjoy a well balanced diet
One of the first healthy habits seniors should keep as they age is eating a healthy, balanced diet. Foods high in saturated fat and sodium should be avoided as much as possible to help keep a healthy heart. For many seniors, changing dietary habits that one has been accustomed to for years can be difficult. It’s important to encourage aging loved one’s to make small changes, such as limiting soda or increasing the number of fresh fruits and vegetables in every meal. From there, larger changes can be made, making the transition to healthy eating much easier.
2. Stay as active as possible.
Regular exercise is important throughout an individual’s life, especially as one grows older. Regular exercise helps prevent weight related issues, keeps blood pressure under control, and promotes a healthy heart. It’s important to keep in mind that regular exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous. A walk around the block, a few climbs of the stairs or even performing a few extra chores can help increase heart rate and activity levels.
3. Limit alcoholic beverages
Alcohol consumption should be limited the older an individual gets. Alcohol consumption is hard on the body at any age, but it becomes harder on the body with every year that passes and can increase the risk for stroke, and increase the risk or aggravate other conditions including cardiovascular disease, gout, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer.
4. Manage stress
Stress levels should also be kept under control as excess stress is known to be one of the major triggers of a stroke. It’s important to identify possible stressors in your aging loved one’s life. Perhaps they’re concerned about finances, retirement plans or their health. Sitting down and discussing options for financial support or long-term home care in Fort Myers can help provide peace of mind. Also encourage them to remain social. Companionship and relationships with friends and family can bring a positive outlook that reduces overall stress.
One of the first things family caregivers or family members should do for an aging senior that has bad health habits is educate their loved one. Unhealthy habits may be convenient, but when your aging loved one is properly educated of the health risks that they are facing as the result of unhealthy habits, the issue becomes more real to them.
A stroke is a life changing experience and although it is not always possible to prevent a stroke, healthy habits can help in prevention. For more information about stroke care or if your aging parent or loved one needs help carry out healthy habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Fort Myers today and learn more about our highly trained and compassionate hourly and live-in caregivers. Simply call 239-449-4701 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.