Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States and is the leading cause of disability. The older our seniors get, the more likely they will be to develop heart disease. Unfortunately, heart disease can occur at any age so it is important for caregivers to help themselves too. Once affecting largely men, heart disease, stroke and heart attacks are rapidly increasing in numbers in women. 2/3 of women who have heart attacks fail to fully recover.
On February 4 we spread the word that heart disease and stroke can be preventable with lifestyle changes that you can and your seniors can do starting today. Many risk factors are treatable such as:
- High Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Excessive Alcohol Intake
- Physical Inactivity
Tips to help you and your senior reduce your risk of developing heart disease:
- Get checked out by your doctor! Know your numbers so you know where to start to make changes. Knowledge is power!
- Reduce the overall fat in your diet. Bake, broil and roast your protein foods. Reduce fried foods, eliminate sources of trans fat, and switch to unsaturated fats
- Portion control to help obesity. Eat healthy quantities without overdoing it. ½ plate vegetables, ¼ plate protein and ¼ plate of starch. Skip the second helpings to control calories. A weight loss of 5%-10% of your body weight can greatly reduce your risk.
- Stress management techniques and coping mechanisms such as avoiding your stressors, keeping a journal, learning to say no, reducing your “to do” list, expressing yourself, taking a warm bath, lighting scented candles, listening to your favorite music, working in your garden or reading a good book can help you. We all feel stress at times but ongoing stress can harm our bodies and lead to reactions such as overeating and smoking.
- Control your blood pressure by reducing your salt intake. New recommendations of 1500 mg each day will help you lower high blood pressure. Ditch the salt shaker and use other seasonings to add flavor. Take your prescribed medications as directed. More than 73% of women ages 65 to 74 have high blood pressure.
- Keep your blood sugar in control. Follow your treatment plan as directed by your healthcare team.
- Quit smoking!
- Reduce your intake of alcohol to help your overall health. Alcohol can raise your blood pressure and lead to excessive calorie intake.
- Get moving! Take a walk or a swim. Keeping your body moving with regular moderate to vigorous activity will payoff big dividends in your weight, blood pressure and stress.
Get a personal risk checkup and plan to help you manage your health at https://www.goredforwomen.org/hcu/index.aspx
You can help your senior live a healthier life and keep yourself healthy to care for your loved one in the future. Start today!
–This article is courtesy of Senior Care Corner http://seniorcarecorner.com