5 Tips on Preventing Strokes in Seniors

5 Ways to Prevent Strokes in the Elderly

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A stroke takes place when the brain no longer receives enough fresh blood, and it can be caused by many different issues. Some of the most common risk factors for strokes include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, a lack of physical activity, and untreated stress. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce your aging loved one’s stroke risk. 

1. Serve More Vegetables

Homocysteine is an amino acid the body naturally produces when it is deficient in nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid. When homocysteine levels get too high, stroke risk increases. Spinach, collard greens, okra, and other leafy green vegetables are packed with the nutrients that suppress the production of homocysteine.

Older adults who need help eating nutritious meals and making other healthy lifestyle choices should consider professional in-home care. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same elderly home care services. Winnipeg families can rely on Winnipeg Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

2. Cook with Olive Oil

Many people feel as if all fats are unhealthy, but this myth was debunked years ago. Scientists now know monounsaturated fats lower cholesterol levels and increase blood flow throughout the body. Olive oil is an excellent alternative to other fats and oils like butter, corn oil, and palm oil. Your loved one should avoid any oils that are fully or partially hydrogenated, as these products are filled with trans fats that are unhealthy for the cardiovascular system. Olive oil is a great option for sautéing vegetables, adding flavor to meats, and making salad dressing. 

3. Suggest Natural Remedies to Reduce Stress

Some of the prescription medications that treat anxiety can raise blood pressure and cause blood clots. As an alternative, your loved one should look for ways to naturally bring his or her stress levels under control. There are a variety of ways to overcome chronic anxiety, including spending time with friends, keeping a journal, listening to music, and meditating. Seniors who have already been prescribed medication for their anxiety must always speak with a doctor before they stop taking their pills. 

4. Encourage Exercise

Exercise may seem like a chore to your loved one, but it is important to raise the heart rate for at least a few hours every week. Walking for 10 or 20 minutes a day can reduce stroke risk and prevent other acute coronary events. Dancing is another great option for seniors who aren’t interested in heading to the gym or spending too much time outside. Most towns have clubs and centers that teach various dances to the elderly.

Consider hiring a professional home care agency if your loved one needs help exercising. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching home care agencies. Winnipeg families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

5. Discourage Smoking

Smoking cigarettes is an unhealthy habit all seniors should try to break as quickly as possible. A recent study published in the journal Stroke revealed smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes. Adults who smoke two packs a day are nine times more likely to have a stroke in their senior years. Many different methods can be used to break addiction to cigarettes, including patches, nicotine gum, and therapy.

Older adults can lower their risk of strokes by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Winnipeg families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, call us at (204) 489 6000 today.