How Aging Adults Can Reduce Their Risk of Stroke

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With age, the risk of developing various health issues increases. One of the most serious concerns is the risk of stroke, which can cause long-term disability or even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. However, there are steps seniors can take to reduce their stroke risk, including those listed below.

Control High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke. Aging causes blood vessels to become less flexible and more prone to damage, which can lead to high blood pressure. It’s important for seniors to monitor their blood pressure regularly and take steps to control it. This can include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking medication as prescribed by their doctors.

Manage Diabetes

Diabetes is another condition that can increase the risk of stroke. By controlling their blood sugar, aging adults with diabetes can prevent blood clots that block or narrow the blood vessels in the brain, thus reducing their stroke risk. Seniors with diabetes should work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their blood sugar levels through medication, diet, and exercise.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for stroke because it makes blood sticky and likelier to clot, which can block blood flow to the brain, and it also increases the amount of plaque in blood vessels. Seniors who smoke should quit as soon as possible to reduce their stroke risk. It’s never too late to quit smoking, and there are many resources available to help seniors quit, including nicotine replacement therapy and support groups.

Exercise Regularly

Long periods of inactivity can inhibit circulation in older adults and lead to various health issues, including strokes, but regular exercise can boost overall health and reduce your aging loved one’s stroke risk. Seniors should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, on most days of the week. Swimming, dancing, and low-impact aerobics are some other activities that can help aging adults keep their arteries from narrowing, thus reducing their stroke risk. Before starting an exercise program, your parent should talk to his or her doctor to make sure it’s safe.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can reduce the risk of stroke by promoting heart health and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Seniors should aim to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. They should also limit their intake of saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.

If your busy schedule can’t accommodate extra attention to your loved one’s diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Ashburn Elder Care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, home care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Control Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol levels can increase the risk of stroke. Seniors should avoid high-cholesterol foods such as cheese, ice cream, and hamburgers, and they should work with their healthcare providers to monitor their cholesterol levels and take steps to control them through healthy nutrition, regular exercise, and, if necessary, medication. 

Manage Stress

Chronic stress can increase the risk of stroke by contributing to high blood pressure and causing the release of excessive amounts of stress hormones in the body. Seniors should find ways to handle stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, getting regular exercise, seeking social support, and engaging in hobbies.

Help your loved one prevent stress and enjoy a higher quality of life by hiring a professional caregiver. Home Care Ashburn agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Get Regular Check-Ups

Routine check-ups allow the doctor to identify and address health conditions that could increase your parent’s risk of stroke. Seniors and their caregivers should work with healthcare providers to develop plans for regular check-ups and screenings.

Take Medications as Prescribed

Older adults who take medications for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol should always take them as prescribed by their doctors. They should also be aware of any potential side effects and report them right away to their physicians.

By following these tips, seniors can boost their overall health and reduce their risk of stroke. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust Ashburn senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives. If you need professional care for your loved one, Assisting Hands Home Care is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 703-423-0708.