As people age, the risk for stroke rises, which may be the result of preexisting health conditions, side effects from medications, genetic predisposition, long-standing poor lifestyle choices, or family history. Here are some unique ways to reduce your senior loved one’s risk for stroke.
Encourage Eating More Nuts
Eating a diet rich in magnesium may lower the risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium-rich foods such as almonds and walnuts lower blood pressure, a significant risk factor in cerebrovascular disease and stroke. Magnesium can also promote optimal endothelial function of the arterial walls and reduce the risk for blood clots. If your loved one cannot tolerate nuts because of digestive disorders such as diverticulosis, ask the physician if taking a magnesium supplement would be appropriate. It’s important to note that while magnesium supplements can lower stroke risk, taking large amounts may cause abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea in certain people.
Some aging adults need a bit of assistance when they’re trying to adopt healthier habits. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Lincoln seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.
Offer Bananas and Oranges for Snacks
Seniors who consume bananas and oranges may have a lower risk for stroke and heart attack. These fruits are rich in potassium, and in addition to lowering blood pressure—a major risk factor for stroke—they also promote healthy types of cholesterol known as high-density lipoproteins. Also known as “good cholesterol,” high-density lipoproteins are thought to protect against cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular events. Potassium-rich foods may also lower “bad cholesterol,” also known as low-density lipoproteins, which are thought to heighten the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Blood clot formation is another risk factor for stroke in elderly people. Eating fatty fish such as salmon reduces clot formation because the fish oil in salmon contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These substances are thought to decrease platelet aggregation, preventing the blood from abnormally clotting. Before encouraging your loved one to increase his or her intake of salmon or other types of fatty fish, talk to the physician. If taken with certain types of medications, especially prescription anticoagulants and aspirin, fish oil may raise the risk for abnormal bleeding.
For some seniors, preparing nutritious meals on their own can be challenging. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elderly home care. Lincoln, CA, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Watch for Sleep Apnea
If your loved one snores, he or she may have obstructive sleep apnea, which causes periodic episodes of breathing cessation and, if not recognized and treated, can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. The physician may refer your loved one to a sleep specialist, who can order a hospital-based sleep study to determine if apnea is present. If so, a breathing machine known as a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine may be recommended. A CPAP machine keeps the airway open so a normal breathing pattern can be facilitated during sleep. Once obstructive sleep apnea has been treated, either with a CPAP machine or by modifying certain lifestyle habits, the risk for stroke may decrease.
Some aging adults may need help making lifestyle adjustments to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiac issues. In Lincoln, elder 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. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.