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Tips for Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease in Seniors

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The risk of heart disease rises as people age. Risk factors such as genetics and family history cannot be changed, but modifying certain lifestyle habits and getting regular checkups can lower the risk. Here are some tips to reduce your senior loved one’s risk for cardiovascular disease.

Discourage Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a modifiable risk factor for heart disease. It can cause arterial damage, circulation problems, high blood pressure, and elevated LDL cholesterol, which is known as “bad cholesterol.” Also known as low-density lipoproteins, LDL cholesterol is responsible for blocked arteries. If your loved one is unable to quit smoking, talk to his or her healthcare provider, who can recommend smoking cessation interventions such as nicotine replacement patches, biofeedback, nicotine chewing gum, and oral medications.

Some older adults need help maintaining good lifestyle habits. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Sydney families 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.

Manage Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most significant risk factors in the development of heart disease in seniors. Make sure your loved one takes his or her prescribed medications regularly and sees the doctor for routine blood pressure checks. High blood pressure can also cause renal disease, which is another risk factor for heart disease. High blood pressure makes the cardiovascular system work under pressure, potentially causing heart failure, coronary artery disease, and even cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscle to thicken and may lead to shortness of breath, cardiac arrhythmia, chest pain, and swelling of the abdomen, legs, and ankles.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. You can rely on expertly trained care workers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while ageing in place.

Treat Diabetes

Poorly managed diabetes is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Make sure your loved one follows the doctor’s recommendations regarding dietary restrictions, exercising, weight loss, and glucose monitoring. When diabetes is managed, the risk of heart disease decreases. In addition to the physician, a nutritionist can also help your loved one maintain control over his or her blood glucose levels through dietary counseling and meal choice recommendations. Some diabetics who have healthy lifestyle habits can manage their glucose levels without medications.

Encourage Walking Everyday

Even ageing adults who have chronic pain or limited mobility can still enjoy the heart-healthy benefits of walking. Seniors don’t need to engage in strenuous exercise or fast walking to lower the risk of heart disease. Simply taking a pleasant stroll after lunch or dinner can prevent weight gain, lower blood pressure, and increase levels of high-density lipoproteins. These blood lipids are thought to protect against cardiovascular disease, unlike low-density lipoproteins, which may raise the risk for heart attacks and stroke. If your loved one is unable to go outside to walk, using a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill can also lower the risk of heart disease because they’re both aerobic types of exercises. 

If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Sydney, New South Wales, Home Care Assistance can help. Our care workers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call (02) 9158 3880 today.

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