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How to Boost Cardiovascular Health in the Elderly

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The risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other types of cardiovascular disease often rises with age. High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and certain medications can contribute to the risk. The good news is there are several things you can do for your aging loved one to boost his or her cardiovascular health.

Incorporate Fatty Fish into the Diet

Fatty fish such as cold water salmon is rich in essential nutrients known as omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporating salmon into your loved one’s meals may lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and thin the blood. In addition to these benefits, fish oils from salmon may also enhance brain function and reduce the risk of depression. Prolonged depression and sadness can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease. 

Depression can make it difficult for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably. Get in touch with Home Care Assistance Huntington to find out how one of our caregivers can help your aging loved one live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Our caregivers are available 24/7, all of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Monitor Sodium Intake

A high-sodium diet can raise blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most significant risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. If your loved one enjoys salty snacks or cured luncheon meats, explain the cardiovascular benefits of eating them only in moderation. If your efforts are unsuccessful, make an appointment with a nutritionist who can explain the benefits of eating a low-sodium diet. The nutritionist can also recommend healthy and flavorful foods that appeal to your loved one’s palate. 

Preparing and maintaining a nutritious diet can be a challenge for aging adults, which can be overcome by opting for in-home care services. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Huntington Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Encourage Walking

Mild exercise such as a leisurely stroll after dinner can boost cardiovascular health. Walking lowers blood pressure and reduces low-density lipoproteins, otherwise known as “bad cholesterol,” while helping seniors maintain a healthy weight. Going on walks regularly promotes good cardiovascular health, enhances mood, and encourages restful sleep.

Try Pet Therapy

Exposure to pets such as dogs and cats can also promote a healthy cardiovascular system. The tactile stimulation of petting an animal, along with the bonding experience, can slow down a fast heartbeat while promoting healthy blood pressure. If your loved one doesn’t own a pet, schedule periodic visits to a local shelter. Ask your parent if he or she is willing and able to adopt a shelter dog. Caring for a pet provides a sense of purpose and something to look forward to, preventing social isolation and depression, both thought to raise the risk for cardiovascular events. 

Consider Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential nutrient for promoting optimal cardiovascular health. Without adequate magnesium levels, your loved one may be at risk for developing cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and stroke. Magnesium-rich foods include walnuts and almonds, but eating too many nuts may cause digestive distress. Large doses of magnesium may cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and increase the risk of abnormal bleeding. Supplements may be a better choice, but check with the doctor first.

Maintaining healthy habits is important for your aging parent’s cardiovascular health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Huntington, WV, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To schedule a free in-home consultation and find out how you can enhance your loved one’s health and quality of life, call (304) 521-2909 today.