01 Feb Heart Healthy Tips for Seniors
This February is the perfect time to show your support of American Heart Health Month in a very practical way. Your senior loved one is at an increased risk of heart disease with as many as 42.2 million Americans older than 60 being diagnosed with Coronary Vascular Disease, according to the American Heart Association. What can you do to support your senior in achieving the most optimal level of heart health possible?
A Heart Healthy Diet Can Be Delicious and Affordable
The AHA recommends a diet that is full of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein sources such as poultry and fish, preferably oily fishes. Seniors living on a fixed income may be concerned about how they can reasonably afford high-quality foods such as these. Although canned and boxed goods have a long shelf life, they are often full of sodium and sugar that contribute to heart-damaging conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
You can make healthy food choices that are also affordable by shopping for:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables bought in season from farmer’s markets
- Frozen vegetables with no added salt
- Buying lean meats in bulk when on sale and freezing for later use
Maintaining Heart Healthy Exercise Habits Through the Years
Seniors benefit greatly from both gentle aerobic and strength training exercises. Walking is an activity that is ideal for older persons as it is tolerated by most individuals. Intensity and length of time that activity is engaged in can be adjusted according to each person’s tolerance. Water aerobics classes are another option that provide both safe supervision and socialization. Additionally, strength training with light weights helps to maintain bone density and prevent muscle loss. Engaging in regular exercise also serves as a stress reliever, in turn, providing many heart-protective benefits.
Monitoring and Managing Your Heart Medications
In addition to these lifestyle modifications, sticking to a physician ordered medication regime is essential. Your senior likely is juggling many medications daily for different health conditions and could become overwhelmed without assistance. Our professional caregivers can assist them in filling pillboxes, reinforcing the need to take medications as ordered and also monitoring for possible side effects. If an older person is experiencing many negative effects from a medication, they may decide to stop taking it rather than follow up with their physician. You can help in confirming that they are taking their medications as prescribed and able to follow up with their physician as needed for medication adjustments.
Having a caregiver physically present in the home is an important way to help those dealing with heart health problems. We know how important the care of your loved one is to you and we are here for you and them. Please contact us about the compassionate supportive services that we offer in-home.