Did you know that heart disease kills more people than any other condition in the United States? While there can be genetic risk factors that increase your odds of developing heart disease, most often it is brought on by lifestyle choices that can be corrected. With one in four people dying from heart disease, it’s time to learn just what does put seniors at risk!
Warning Signs for Heart Disease Among Seniors
High cholesterol. One of the biggest signs of impending heart disease is high cholesterol that is not being managed. If you have been told that your cholesterol is too high, your doctor will likely use medication to help bring it down, but the greatest way to reduce it is through diet and lifestyle.
Smoking. Many people think smoking only increases your risk of lung cancer. Experts at the CDC have discovered that smoking also leads to significant heart disease. Cigarettes are highly toxic and even second-hand smoke can put your health at risk. If you or the senior loved one in your life smokes, please get help from your doctor! It doesn’t have to be as terrible as you might think with the medications and programs now available. It is the single most important change you can make to protect your health and lower your risk of heart disease!
Stress. We all deal with stress. It is impossible to avoid it, but how you manage it will determine the outcome. Stress levels can come down significantly, just by doing things that destress your life! Taking up a hobby, meditating, reading and even exercise are excellent ways to cope with stress in a healthier manner.
Being Sedentary. It’s important to stay active. Even if you get some exercise, you should also strive to stay active throughout the rest of your day. A sedentary lifestyle has been found to be just as fatal as smoking. The bottom line here is simply to find ways to decrease the amount of time spent in a chair
Drinking alcohol. Consuming too much alcohol causes blood pressure to be elevated, thereby placing you at risk for developing heart disease. It also is high in calories, which leads to weight gain, and that leads to heart disease.
Unhealthy Eating Habits. It is proven scientifically that people who eat properly live longer and have fewer risks of heart disease. For years, much has been written about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, which is high in veggies, fruits, nuts, and healthy proteins. Laying off the junk food and eating your way to good health is a sure way to live longer!
The same goes for your sodium intake. Too much salt in the diet causes high blood pressure. This is why you often hear doctors warning patients who have high blood pressure to lower their sodium intake. Just doing this one thing can greatly reduce heart disease.
Living healthy involves making small changes along the way that will decrease your risk of heart disease. You don’t have to tackle it all at once unless there is a crisis that demands action. Perhaps you can just get more walking in, drink a little less and increase healthy foods. Doing it along with a friend or partner will increase your success and keep you on the right track.
Seniors are just as at risk for all these issues as younger people. Don’t be fooled by thinking heart disease is only for certain age groups—nothing could be farther from the truth.
For more information and tips on preventing heart disease among seniors, contact us today!
It might also help to find a heart health buddy who shares your commitment to making changes. The two of you can share strategies and offer each other moral support.
Home Helpers of MetroWest is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, 24-hour live-in care, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Concord, Framingham, Lincoln, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston, Massachusetts.
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