Because the chances of stroke increase with age, you may be concerned about this issue for your elderly loved one. Although strokes can happen without any warning, the good news is that 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Here are some easy ways to reduce the risk of stroke for your loved one.
1. Assess Lifestyle Issues
Aging adults need to stop smoking and limit their alcohol intake. The combination of these two issues could lead to a stroke because nicotine and alcohol can constrict blood vessels and thicken blood, leading to the types of clots that cause strokes. Smoking also increases the amount of plaque in a senior’s body, and studies show this habit can more than double the risk of stroke. Prepare healthy snacks your loved one can eat whenever he or she gets the urge to smoke or have a drink. You should also help your loved one develop healthy habits to turn to when craving cigarettes or alcohol. Encourage activities such as exercising, yoga, gardening, walking, painting, and crafting to boost his or her overall health and prevent a stroke.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for a senior who is making healthy lifestyle changes. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
2. Identify Risk Factors
Meet with your loved one’s doctor to identify and address any medical risk factors. Medical conditions contributing to a higher likelihood of stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
- High cholesterol
- Circulation problems
- Carotid artery disease
3. Establish a Healthy Diet & Exercise Plan
Seniors need to exercise and eat healthy foods. Decreasing excess body fat reduces the risk of disease. Healthy eating habits can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which are the risk factors associated with strokes. Seniors need to eat more lean meats, fruits, and vegetables and avoid high-cholesterol foods such as cheese, hamburgers, and ice cream.
You can help your loved one maintain a healthy weight by encouraging him or her to eat low-calorie meals and go on light walks or by hiring a caregiver to introduce a healthy eating and exercise routine to your loved one’s lifestyle.
If your busy schedule can’t accommodate extra attention to your loved one’s diet and exercise habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Centennial respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
4. Start an Aspirin Regimen
Studies have shown taking a daily low-dose aspirin can prevent blood clots. Aspirin therapy may not be appropriate for individuals with certain conditions, so consult your loved one’s physician before starting an aspirin regimen.
5. Learn to Be FAST
Be prepared to act quickly if you suspect a stroke by memorizing the acronym FAST. This simple mnemonic stands for face, arms, speech, and time:
- Face – Ask your loved one to smile. He or she may be having a stroke if one side of the face droops.
- Arms – Ask your loved one to raise his or her arms. One arm will typically drift downward if your loved one is having a stroke.
- Speech – Ask your loved one to speak. Slurred speech may indicate a stroke.
- Time – Call 911 immediately. Prompt treatment increases the chances of recovery.
Seniors can reduce their risk of strokes by making healthy lifestyle changes. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Centennial senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (303) 957-3100 today.