7 Ways to Lower Your Elderly Loved One’s Stroke Risk

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7 Ways to Reduce Your Senior Loved One's Stroke Risk in Columbus, OH

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, killing approximately 140,000 people each year. It’s also a leading cause of long-term disability. Having a family history of stroke increases the risk of having one, but there are things you can do to lower your aging loved one’s risk.

1. Reduce Blood Pressure Levels

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase the risk of experiencing a stroke. Medications and lifestyle changes such as losing weight and reducing salt intake can help your loved one decrease his or her blood pressure levels. The American Heart Association recommends keeping blood pressure levels less than 120/80. Make sure your loved one regularly monitors his or her blood pressure levels and takes prescribed medications. Contact the doctor immediately if your loved one’s blood pressure levels are rising.

Stroke is a serious health concern that can affect a senior’s independence and overall quality of life. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Columbus Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

2. Discourage Smoking

Smoking thickens the blood and increases the plaque inside of the arteries, making it easier for blood clots to form. Talk with a doctor about recommended ways for your loved one to quit. Nicotine patches or pills, counseling, and medications can help your loved one quit the smoking habit.

3. Promote Healthy Weight Loss

If your loved one is overweight, he or she is at a higher risk of hypertension and diabetes, which raise the risk of a stroke. Ideally, a senior’s BMI (body mass index) should be less than 25. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, reducing calorie intake to 1,500 to 2,000 per day, and exercising can help your loved one shed extra pounds and reduce his or her stroke risk.

Maintaining healthy habits is often easier for older adults when they have the right support. In Columbus, elderly care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

While having one drink of alcohol per day can decrease the risk of stroke, having two or more increases the risk. If your loved one chooses to drink, encourage him or her to have no more than one per day. Red wine contains resveratrol, which is believed to protect the brain and heart and is a good choice for your loved one’s daily drink.

5. Keep Blood Sugar Levels Stable

If your loved one has diabetes, it’s important to keep his or her blood sugar levels stable. Over time, high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels, making it easier for clots to form. Help your loved one check his or her blood sugar levels in the morning when waking up and two hours after each meal. If levels aren’t within the guidelines given by the doctor, make an appointment to get your loved one’s medications adjusted.

6. Get Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation, also known as quivering heart, is a type of irregular heartbeat that makes it easier for clots to form. If these clots travel to the brain, your loved one could experience a stroke. Medications can control atrial fibrillation. If your loved one experiences heart palpitations or shortness of breath, schedule an appointment with the doctor to check for atrial fibrillation and help him or her get started on a treatment plan. 

7. Encourage Exercise

Regular exercise can help your loved one shed extra pounds, strengthen his or her heart, and reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Take a walk with your loved one, help him or her enroll in a group exercise class, or encourage him or her to try swimming at the local pool for a fun way to get in shape and reduce the risk of stroke.

Seniors can stave off a number of diseases while aging in the comfort of home with the help of professional caregivers. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Columbus seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. Call us at (614) 481-8888 to create a customized care plan for your elderly loved one.

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