The time following a stroke is challenging in many ways. While many seniors suffer from a decline in motor function, speech and in some cases, cognitive functioning, it is of the utmost importance to continue following a healthy lifestyle to help reduce the risk of a second stroke. The following are some tips for family members on how to help aging loved ones maintain a healthy lifestyle during the recovery and rehabilitation period.
- Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is one of the largest contributing factors to strokes, so it is important for family caregivers to closely monitor the blood pressure levels of their aging loved one. This may involve taking certain medications, but it also has a lot to do with one’s diet and lifestyle. In addition to routine check-ups with the doctor, seniors should stay away from sweets, processed foods, excessive salt and trans fat, and should focus on a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains.
- Regular Exercise – Getting regular exercise is essential for maintaining health after a stroke. Although stroke victims may have limited mobility, some type of minimal exercise or small activity is often possible. From standing chair exercises to simple hand gripping exercises, family members and professional caregivers in Centennial can assist with rehabilitation exercises to help a senior stroke survivor maintain or regain functionality.
- Vitamin Supplements – Certain supplements can help to promote better health following a stroke. A deficiency in Vitamin D can cause hardening of the arteries, which increases the risk for both strokes and heart disease. For this reason, a Vitamin D supplement can be helpful. Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, may help people who have suffered from a stroke improve neurological function. Taking a B Vitamin supplement may also be helpful as Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 have been shown to protect the heart and other related conditions including strokes.
- Healthy Herbs – Periwinkle is an herb that promotes healthy blood flow to the brain. This is an especially good herb to take following a stroke. Others include cayenne, goldenseal root and gingko biloba and can help aid in better circulation. If you are taking any medications, however, ask your doctor about any contraindications or side effects before taking herbal supplements.
Looking for specialized stroke services in Centennial for an aging parent or loved one? Click here for information about our hourly and overnight care options for senior stroke survivors or reach out to a devoted Case Manager at (303) 957-3100. We are available 24/7 and offer no-risk, complimentary consultations!