According to the CDC, nearly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke every year, and it’s currently one of the leading causes of long-term disability. While genetics play a role in the development of strokes, most of the risk factors can be controlled. Take a look at six risk factors for stroke all seniors should be aware of.
1. Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can no longer use insulin properly. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is almost always preventable. The most effective way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes is to follow a strict diet. Most seniors benefit from a varied and nutritious diet that includes fresh produce, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. Older adults should also avoid sugary foods that cause insulin spikes.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the many health conditions that could affect your loved one’s ability to age in place. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Clearwater families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. High Blood Pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a common health condition among older adults. Many different medical issues impact blood pressure, including kidney disease and adrenal fatigue. Much like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure can usually be reversed with healthy lifestyle habits. Those who have high blood pressure should also find ways to naturally control their stress levels.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
The average senior has a very sedentary lifestyle, which eventually impacts cardiovascular health. Older adults should try to engage in some type of physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week. Even going on a short walk every day can drastically reduce a senior’s stroke risk.
Aging adults may find it difficult to engage in physical activities. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance Clearwater 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.
4. Heavy Drinking
Heavy drinking, usually classified as having more than two servings of alcohol per day, has been linked to a wide variety of serious health complications, including strokes. Seniors should limit their intake of alcohol and avoid mixed drinks with processed sweeteners. Those who take prescription medications must speak with a doctor before consuming any alcohol.
5. High-Fat Diet
Fat is a vital macronutrient, but some types of fat must be avoided at all costs. Saturated and trans fats raise cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure. These fats can also overwork the kidneys, which could eventually lead to kidney disease. Older adults should stick to foods with healthy fats like fresh fish, seeds, nuts, and olive oil.
6. High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy material that can clog the arteries and slow the bloodstream. High cholesterol is usually the result of a poor diet or sedentary lifestyle. Seniors who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol should immediately make some changes. Switching over to a plant-based diet is a great way to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Help your loved one reduce the risk of stroke and other serious health conditions. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Clearwater seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance at (727) 330-7862 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule a free in-home consultation.