The heart is the most vital organ in the human body. And unfortunately, according to the National Institute on Aging, people aged 65 and older are most likely to suffer heart diseases. How can you mitigate the risks of these conditions?
Cardiovascular disease can occur when the patient’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels are high. Excess LDL cholesterol in the blood can result in the build-up of plaque in the arteries, limiting blood flow to the heart or brain. Fortunately, there are several ways to help your aging loved ones reduce their own risk of heart problems.
Understand & Manage Known Health Conditions
Underlying health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels can increase the risk of developing heart disease. Seniors living with any of these conditions should take steps to ensure their health. Encourage your loved ones to visit the doctor regularly, take their prescribed medications, and alter their diet or habits as needed. A little extra effort for now can go a long way toward keeping a senior citizen healthy.
Build Healthy Habits
Heart-healthy habits for seniors don’t differ significantly from healthy habits for any age. Encourage your loved ones to make healthy choices in their everyday lives, including:
- Quitting potentially dangerous habits like smoking
- Following a heart-friendly diet; minimize sugar, saturated fats, and salt while focusing on vegetables, fruits, and fiber-rich foods
- Stay active through senior-safe workouts or outdoor hobbies like gardening
- Get plenty of sleep
Constant stress can raise cortisol levels in older adults, affecting blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. These factors can cause heart diseases in seniors. To avoid such risks, reach out to your elderly loved ones to help them reduce their stress. An early visit may brighten their day, for example. Alternatively, you can help them find new hobbies or join a nearby senior group for socialization. Help your family members learn to understand and manage their mental health.
Keeping Your Heart Healthy
Keeping the heart healthy can help to reduce the risk of heart disease in seniors. Your help is also invaluable. Keep in touch with elderly loved ones and help them maintain their health however you can.
Contact us to learn more tips for reducing heart disease in older adults.