heart health

Improve Heart Health for Your Senior

Have your parents told you that heart-related diseases run in your family? If so, don’t be surprised. Here are a few heart health facts, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that you should know:

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death.
  2. One person in the US dies every 34 seconds from heart disease.
  3. In 2020, 1 in every 5 deaths was heart disease-related. 
  4. Heart disease is so prevalent that it costs the US about $229 billion each year.
  5. Coronary Artery Disease is the most common heart disease type and was responsible for nearly 383,000 people just in 2020.
  6. Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the US.

These statistics show that heart disease affects pretty much everyone in the United States whether directly or through a loved one. This just emphasizes the importance of heart health and doing things on a daily basis to keep one’s heart strong and healthy. Before we get into what you can do to improve heart health, let’s look at those who are more at risk for heart disease. Those who:

  • Are diabetic
  • Are obese
  • Are physically inactive
  • Use alcohol to excess
  • Eat unhealthily 

Heart health is important for everyone but especially for those who have the above risk factors. As we age, our risk factors increase so here are a few ways to improve the heart health of your senior!

  1. Swimming – swimming is a great, low-impact way to get their heart pumping. Since it’s winter, you can always check out indoor pools like the YMCA
  2. Stress management – think of activities that bring them joy like putting puzzles together, painting, coloring, baking, etc.
  3. Cardio – there are programs like Silver Sneakers that include cardio and strength training programs that are designed for seniors and are less expensive. 
  4. Being mindful – watching their numbers (sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol) can help you make more proactive and informed decisions about their diet and exercise.
  5. Find an alcohol substitute – alcohol can impact blood pressure and sugar. Find a drink that is non-alcoholic, or even do something as basic as tonic water with lime instead of a gin and tonic. You can also dress up the drink with a fancy glass to make them feel like they are still enjoying an adult beverage.
  6. Help them stop smoking – cigarettes are a big contributor to poor heart health so look up alternatives for them like a nicotine patch or medicine. You can also try a more natural route — help them find the triggers that cause them to smoke, consider hiring someone for companion care to keep them entertained, and even add a meditation app to their tablet or phone. 
  7. Provide them with a list of heart-healthy foods – diet is a big part of avoiding heart disease. The National Institute of Health has a list of foods that are great for the heart. 

Remember that age and genetics are a big part of heart health and that diet and physical activity help a great deal. If your loved one lives alone and tends to be inactive, uses a lot of convenience food, or indulges in things that contribute to heart disease, consider having an in-home care provider help with, cooking, medication reminders, grocery shopping, and much more! If you’d like to know more about how in-home care can help you improve your senior’s heart health, give us a call to schedule a free consultation – 301.304.9147.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *