While some risk factors for stroke can’t be controlled, such as age, ethnicity, and family history, there are plenty of lifestyle changes seniors can make to decrease their risk of stroke. If you provide home care for an aging parent or are concerned about his or her health, read on to learn about some of the things your loved one can do to reduce stroke risk.
Give Up Cigarettes
By smoking cigarettes, your loved one is contributing to the blockage of the carotid artery, which is the main blood supply to the brain, and a blocked carotid artery is the number one cause of stroke. If your loved one smokes, talk with his or her doctor about strategies to quit for good.
Smoking puts older adults at risk for several other serious conditions as well. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elderly home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Punch Up the Potassium
According to a recent study published in the medical journal Stroke, potassium-rich foods can substantially cut stroke risk, especially for women who have already gone through menopause. For maximum benefit, add plenty of potassium-rich foods to the diet, such as sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, white beans, and bananas.
Take a Walk
Another recent study published in Stroke touted the benefits of daily walks for cutting stroke risk, especially for men. While it’s long been known that exercising and maintaining a healthy weight greatly reduces the risk of stroke, this research indicates that even walking for just an hour each day can prevent strokes. Encourage your loved one to walk by accompanying him or her or enlisting the help of a professional caregiver who can walk with your loved one and provide companionship while ensuring safety.
Richmond senior 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.
Avoid Processed Meats
While a healthy diet is key for stroke prevention, there are some foods that are especially likely to increase a senior’s risk of having a stroke. Chief in this category are processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and cold cuts. Consuming these foods regularly can increase stroke risk by as much as 23 percent. This even includes traditionally “healthy” lunchmeats such as chicken and turkey.
Seniors can stave off a number of health issues while aging in the comfort of home with the help of professional caregivers. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Richmond, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call us at (804) 207-4746 to create a customized in-home care plan.