How to Lower an Aging Adult’s Stroke Risk

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have strokes each year. Of these, 610,000 are first-time incidents. Strokes claim the lives of approximately 140,000 adults in the country every year. Approximately 87 percent of strokes are ischemic in nature, which means the issue occurs secondary to a blockage of blood flow in the brain. However, researchers published an article in The Lancet claiming modifiable lifestyle factors contribute to 88 percent of the risk. Family caregivers can use the following tips to reduce their loved one’s risk of strokes.

Provide Plenty of Water

Scientists from Loma Linda University found drinking 40 or more ounces of water each day cuts the risk of stroke by 53 percent. Water keeps blood thin, which inhibits the chance of clots forming. However, to be effective, seniors should drink fluids throughout the day.  Stroke is a serious health concern that can affect a senior’s independence and overall quality of life. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Cedar Falls live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Limit Alcohol and Sugary Beverages

Elderly people in the Mediterranean region enjoy a glass of wine with meals. One or two glasses of red wine daily can offer health benefits. However, drinking more than the recommended amount raises the risk of a stroke by 45 percent. Excessive alcohol also contributes to premature brain aging. The abundance of sugar in sweetened sodas and juices contributes to weight gain and raises triglycerides, which increases stroke risk.

Offer Healthy Food Choices

Increasing fruit and vegetable servings can reduce cholesterol levels and keep them within a normal range. Lean meats, poultry, fish, and nuts provide necessary protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Restrict or eliminate processed foods that are typically high in fat and sugar, and reserve baked treats for special occasions. 

Reduce Salt Intake

Many older adults are prone to developing fluid retention from salt consumption. The additional fluid puts stress on the cardiovascular system. Seniors should consume 1,500 milligrams or less of salt each day.  If your loved one needs help preparing low-sodium meals or making healthy lifestyle choices that promote longevity, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Cedar Falls in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Encourage Exercise

Riding indoor stationary bikes, walking, gardening, and even housecleaning are great ways to get the blood pumping. Seniors should strive to get 150 minutes of moderately strenuous activity weekly. Exercise helps seniors maintain a healthy weight, reduces cholesterol levels, and encourages blood vessel relaxation while strengthening the heart, which can reduce the risk of stroke. 

Discourage Smoking

The chemicals contained in tobacco products increase heart rate and constrict blood vessels, which can promote the development of blood clots while raising blood pressure. Over time, the excessive stress the cardiovascular system endures weakens vessels, which could cause a rupture. 

Manage Current Medical Conditions

Whether diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or another medical condition, following a physician’s orders is vital. Seniors need to take medications as directed. By making various lifestyle changes, seniors can reduce stroke risk and boost their overall health. Losing weight and changing dietary options have also been shown to reverse certain medical conditions.  senior loved one who has experienced a stroke, the Cedar Falls, IA stroke care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are expertly trained in stroke care and can assist with a wide array of tasks, including bathing, grooming, cooking, and exercise. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care methods, call us at 319-260-2222 today.


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