Elder Care in Cypress, TX - February is American Heart Month, an Important Reminder to Focus on Heart Health for Your Elderly Loved One
You are likely accustomed to seeing plenty of hearts around during the month of February, but when it comes to your elder care plan, the hearts during this month should be about more than just Valentine's Day. February is American Heart Month, a month-long observance dedicated to helping Americans understand the risk factors, symptoms, and consequences of heart disease and the things they can do to reduce their risk.
The reality is that a quarter of Americans suffer from heart disease and an estimated 84% of elderly adults over the age of 65 will die from complications associated with the disease. This does not mean, however, that it is an inevitable result of aging. This American Heart Month, take the time to show your aging parents how much your love them by making protecting their hearts a part of your senior care plan.
Heart disease causes a variety of frightening and dangerous problems, including stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. For seniors, the risk of suffering a silent heart attack, or one that causes just as much damage but has none of the expected symptoms of a recognized heart attack, is twice that of their younger counterparts. This makes it even more important for you to cooperate with them and their elder care services providers to pay close attention to how they are feeling and take steps to protect their heart health all year.
The symptoms of heart disease are often subtle or can be mistaken for other issues, making them difficult to detect. Make note of changes in your elderly parents' behavior and cues so you can identify when your seniors may be at risk. Some of the signs to watch for include:
• Feeling faint
• Fatigue or tiring easily
• Muscle weakness
• Excessive sweating
• Irregular heartbeat
• Nausea or vomiting without other explanation
• Chest pain or pressure on the chest
• Aching or pain in the neck, back, or shoulders
• Shortness of breath
Make these steps a part of your senior care plan to protect your aging loved ones and yourself:
• Keep diabetes under control
• Manage high blood pressure
• Reduce high cholesterol
• Achieve and maintain an ideal body weight. If your parents are overweight, work with their doctors to come up with a plan that will help them shed their excess weight responsibly and safely
• Adopt coping skills to ease stress and anxiety. These feelings put additional strain on the heart and increase risk of developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack or stroke
• Quit smoking
• Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. Alcohol worsens many health conditions that have an impact on heart health, making the body more susceptible to heart disease
• Introduce a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure your parents get a range of nutrients that support their body. Work toward serving several different colors each day to take advantage of the different nutrients in each
• Serve reduced- or low-fat dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt. For a delicious breakfast, snack, or even dessert, try Greek yogurt, which packs twice the protein of other yogurt but has no fat and a thick, rich texture ideal for adding into recipes or eating with fruit and granola
• Choose lean cuts of meat to reduce the saturated fat. Look for meats with less than 20% fat
• Have a goal of eating two servings of fish each week to add important Omega-3 fatty acids into the diet
• Snack on nuts, particularly walnuts and almonds, for their good fats, high protein, and valuable fiber
• Encourage your seniors to get active and exercise at least 30 minutes each day. Even walking around the house, dancing, or moving their limbs around while sitting in a wheelchair encourages better heart health.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of senior care in Cypress, TX, contact us at SYNERGY HomeCare. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (281) 407-1200 for more information.