Heart disease kills millions of people every year, and this condition is the leading cause of death among the elderly. While those stats might seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that a handful of lifestyle changes can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease. With a few simple steps, your aging loved one can minimize the risk of heart disease and many other serious cardiovascular problems.
1. Quit Smoking Immediately
One of the best things seniors can do for their hearts is to avoid all tobacco products. According to the CDC, using any type of tobacco product doubles the risk of developing heart disease, which is just one of the many health complications those products can cause. If your loved one is still smoking, speak with his or her doctor about nicotine replacement therapy.
2. Exercise Daily
There are many different reasons older adults should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, exercise can also boost cognitive health. Seniors who have weak joints or issues with mobility should stick to low-impact exercises. Options such as swimming and yoga are perfect for older adults, and those activities are incredibly safe when done correctly.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Windermere respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers 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 caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
3. Choose a Healthy Diet
Every senior has slightly different dietary needs, but most aging adults can benefit from a plant-based diet. Most of your loved one’s diet should be comprised of fresh produce, lean sources of protein, and complex carbohydrates. Recent studies have shown that healthy fat is great for the heart, and that macronutrient can be found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Seniors must also avoid highly processed foods and sugar-laden drinks.
A professional caregiver 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 caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Orlando senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Studies continue to show that getting plenty of sleep is absolutely vital to heart health, and the average individual needs at least seven hours of restorative sleep per night. Many seniors experience sleep issues, which can have a huge impact on their cardiovascular health. The best way to maintain a healthy sleep schedule is to stick to a strict bedtime routine every night and wake up at the same time each morning. Older adults should also avoid caffeine later in the day.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Most medical experts agree that obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. While exercising is a great way to speed up weight loss, seniors won’t be able to lose weight if they eat too many calories. Counting calories can be monotonous, but it’s one of the best ways to lose weight in a healthy manner. Once your loved one is within a healthy weight range, keeping the fat off is going to be much easier.
A professional caregiver can provide additional support for your efforts to help your aging 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 elderly home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (407) 232-7155 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.