Heart health is a big part of helping your aging adult to live the best life that she can.
The good news is that even small decisions can give your elderly family member results in her quest to keep her heart as healthy as possible.
Get the Full Picture
Both you and your aging adult need to know what she’s facing in terms of her current heart health. If she hasn’t already, she needs to talk to her doctor about the full picture right now. This can all be part of a regular physical, especially if it’s been a while since the last one your elderly family member had. While a full physical can be scary, it’s a really important way to get the information you need to make the right health decisions for her.
Quit Any Serious Vices
According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking even a few cigarettes a day can cause both heart disease and stroke. Because smoking affects blood vessels, it can affect heart rate and blood pressure. If your elderly family member is already prone to higher blood pressure or other heart issues, then that spells trouble for her. Talk to your senior’s doctor about any of the vices that she enjoys to see how that can affect her heart health. This might mean that she needs to reevaluate what vices she enjoys.
Look at Some Dietary Changes
Dietary changes may be where your senior is able to see bigger results with smaller amounts of effort. If she’s currently relying on convenience foods, such as fast food or prepackaged foods, it’s important to note that those are usually higher in salt and sugar. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are a much better choice, but they mean more preparation and effort. Hiring elder care providers to help out with meal prep and other tasks associated with cleaning up can help your senior adapt more readily to a new way of eating.
Start Moving a Little More
Walking just a little bit more each day or picking up another activity that she enjoys can help your senior to strengthen her heart and other systems in her body. It’s vital that you talk to her doctor about the right level of activity for her. In the beginning, the best plan may be to slowly add more frequent movement to your senior’s day. From there, she can ramp up her activity level and possibly even start an official workout routine.
Even small improvements to your senior’s heart health can help her quite a bit. Keep working with her doctor in order to assess what’s working and to know what to add more off to her heart health plan.