Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., and 1.5 million people have heart attacks every year. Given these numbers, maintaining heart health should be an important aspect of elder home care Lancaster seniors can benefit from. This is especially crucial if your senior loved one lives a fairly sedentary lifestyle, as this can raise the risk of heart-related problems.
Encourage Physical Activity
Convince your loved one to get involved in some sort of cardio exercise activity on a regular basis such as yoga, water aerobics, or stationary biking. These exercises give the heart muscle a chance to strengthen and work, keeping it healthy. If your loved one is resistant to an exercise routine, you can hire a part-time caregiver in Lancaster to help with motivation or encourage him or her to keep busy in other ways. Everyday household tasks like laundry or gardening can also get your loved one moving without necessarily feeling like exercise.
Recommend Regular Checkups
It’s important for anyone over the age of 55 to include heart health in annual exams and scans. Ensuring the doctor keeps an eye on your loved one’s heart before an issue arises can help prevent complications. For instance, doctors can pinpoint clogged arteries and other symptoms that can indicate future heart problems, which can help your loved one decide how to resolve the issues before they affect his or her health. Looking out for potential problems is especially critical if your loved one isn’t able to or doesn’t like to exercise on a regular basis.
Suggest a Healthier Diet
Making healthful food choices can go a long way toward helping a person prevent heart disease as well as many other potential complications. Encourage your loved one to eat reasonable portion sizes and to snack on healthy fruits and vegetables. Eating whole grain foods and limiting unhealthy sources of fat is also a good idea. Also, encourage your loved one to eat smaller amounts of red meat, substituting it with poultry, fish, or leaner cuts of meat. Even if your loved one doesn’t make all of these dietary changes, even a few alterations can still help his or her health. Healthier food choices are especially important if your loved one lives a sedentary lifestyle, since unhealthy food choices and lack of exercise are the two main contributing factors for obesity.
Help Manage Other Health Conditions
Heart disease can exist simultaneously with other conditions your loved one already has. Seniors, especially those who are inactive, are also at risk for other health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Developing one or more of these conditions can go unnoticed or untreated if your loved one doesn’t think they are serious, which can have a negative effect on your loved one’s body and health. The heart is highly affected by many of these conditions, more so than other parts of the body. Ensuring your loved one has the proper treatment plan for controlling his or her cholesterol and blood pressure is a key step in helping prevent these conditions from causing strain on the heart.
To learn more about how to help your loved one maintain a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist your loved one with a wide variety of daily tasks, including exercise, healthy meal prep, and transportation to and from medical appointments. For more information on high-quality part-time and live-in care Lancaster families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers today at (717) 540-4663.