United States President Lyndon B. Johnson survived a heart attack. To celebrate his second chance, he declared February to be American Heart Month in 1964. This year marks the fifty-seventh year that the US has celebrated the body’s most important organ in February.
How can you and your senior observe this month? Well, the most obvious thing to do is adopt a heart healthy lifestyle!
Control Blood Pressure
Doctors have identified untreated high blood pressure as perhaps the single greatest risk factor for heart disease. So February might be a great month to get your senior’s blood pressure tested, if you have not done so recently.
If your senior has a history of high blood pressure, consider buying a blood pressure monitor for your senior to use at home. Such devices are easy to use, especially with the help of an elder care specialist.
Blood pressure readings show two numbers, a systolic pressure number which needs to be at or lower than 120 and a diastolic pressure number which needs to be at or lower than eighty.
High blood pressure can sometimes be treated only with lifestyle chances. Losing excess weight is an important step. Eating lots of vegetables and less red meat and fried food is also recommended. And, of course, at least twenty minutes a day of good aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping, will also lower high blood pressure.
However, some people will still need to take medications to control blood pressure if lifestyle modifications do not bring it down sufficiently. Your senior's doctor can discuss which medications will work best for your senior and what doses.
Take the Quiz
A fun and smart way to celebrate American Heart Month is to take an online quiz about heart health. This quiz, created by the Centers for Disease Control, asks questions like, “Where can you get your blood pressure taken?” and “What organs are negatively impacted by high blood pressure?” (Hint: Not just the heart.)
Taking this quiz with your senior may help you get on the same page about blood pressure and why it needs to be kept under control. If your senior is going to monitor blood pressure at home, you may also want to take the quiz here.
Elder Care Can Help
If your senior needs help complying with heart health guidelines, consider hiring professional elder care. Elder care aides come to your senior’s home. They can help your senior exercise, and they can prepare delicious meals that don’t damage arteries and raise blood pressure. These home care aides can also take your senior’s blood pressure, if you have a home monitor. And they can help your senior learn how to take his own blood pressure and understand the results.
In conclusion, American Heart Month is a good opportunity to start a dialog with your senior about heart health and the benefits of monitoring blood pressure. Encourage exercise and healthy eating. Make sure you and your senior know what high blood pressure looks like and establish a regime for monitoring it.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Aurora, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.