With heart disease as the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, it’s important to discuss the best ways to combat heart disease. Heart health problems can affect anyone at any age, but seniors are especially vulnerable as they age. As a caregiver or loved one of a senior, what can you do to help them protect their heart health? Learn more below and discover how easily you can improve heart health for seniors with a few lifestyle changes!
Reduce Stress Levels:
What stresses out the senior in your life? If it’s something that can be lessened or stopped entirely, make the effort to change it! The reduced stress will likely help their blood pressure, their restfulness, and several other aspects of their health.
Problem: “Paying my bills stresses me out! I always forget which ones are which.”
Solution: Try sorting their bills by date and type, or if they are truly overwhelmed, consider working with an accountant or financial professional.
Problem: “I just don’t have the energy to clean and cook before people come over anymore.”
Solution: Find easy-to-use home appliances and recipes, or consider working with a home care agency that trains caregivers to help!
Eat Heart-Healthy Foods:
Just because a food passes the “healthy” test doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for your heart! Especially for people with heart disease, certain healthy foods don’t contain the right fats and sodium levels. Some foods that might surprise you on this list to avoid are:
- Tomato Juice
- Coconut and Coconut Oil
- Full-Fat Milks and Dairy Products
- Fatty Meats
When protecting your heart health, try to eat mostly lean meats and proteins, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads and pastas! (Mayo Clinic)
Do you wish you had a stress-free way to get the nutrition you need? Learn more about Senior Solutions Nutrition and our pre-prepared meals here!
If you already have heart disease or health conditions that make exercise difficult, talk to your doctor about an activity plan. Certain cardio and weight plans might actually hurt your health more than they help. For many people who struggle with their heart health, doctors recommend the following:
- Start with 30 minute sessions per day.
- Focus on repetitions instead of heavier weights.
- Stretch before you work out and get plenty of rest.
Beyond these tips, doctors recommend that caregivers work out with seniors. Not only is the team mentality good for morale, it also allows you to monitor them closely while enjoying an activity together! (WebMD)
Communicate With Your Doctor:
Whether they have heart health concerns or not, seniors should always communicate with their doctors about their health! Especially with new pains, symptoms, and physical changes to their bodies, doctors need to know the details to determine treatment plans. Always take medicines as prescribed, follow the doctor’s instructions, and book appointments for both annual checkups and new health concerns!