Aging places older adults at greater risk for strokes, but there are a few ways they can prevent a stroke from occurring. Seniors and their Lancaster caregivers can use these 5 strategies to take action now for preserving their health.
1. Eat a High-Fiber Diet
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for strokes because it leads to clogged arteries. Your loved one should strive to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. To keep it interesting, he or she can try mixing mashed pumpkin into a bowl of soup or starting the day with a bowl of whole-grain oats topped with apple chunks.
2. Make Socializing a Priority
Many of the most effective ways to prevent a stroke involve effort, but staying relaxed is also an important component of maintaining optimum health. Laughing and enjoying conversations with others lowers blood pressure and provides motivation for staying healthy. Your loved one should try to visit with a friend or family member for at least a few minutes every day.
3. Limit Alcohol
Though socializing is important for preventing strokes, your loved one may want to limit or avoid alcohol during social engagements. When consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages raise blood pressure, and impaired judgment may lead to other unwise decisions like late night snacking on high-fat foods. To prevent strokes, your loved one should have no more than one alcoholic drink per night.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking affects the cardiovascular system by narrowing blood vessels, thickening the blood, and increasing arterial plaque. Even if your loved one has smoked for many years, quitting today can still lower his or her stroke risk.
5. Start a Workout Routine
Physical activity has long been touted as being necessary for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Being overweight places seniors at risk for stroke, but staying active helps them manage their weight. If a long workout is not feasible, try breaking up your loved one’s exercise routine into shorter chunks of time so he or she can still achieve the same cardio benefits as a longer workout.
Many of the steps your loved one takes to reduce his or her stroke risk can also prevent other serious health conditions. If your loved one needs encouragement to stay focused on healthy habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with exercise, cook nutritious meals, provide social stimulation, and help with a wide array of daily tasks. For more information on the elder home care Lancaster families rely on, call (717) 540-4663 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers.