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5 Ways Elderly People Can Prevent Strokes

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Aging increases the risk of stroke among seniors, but there are healthy lifestyle choices they can make to reduce the odds. If your senior loved one has a family history of strokes, he or she will also be susceptible to strokes.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oakville Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Here are a few things your loved one can do to prevent a stroke.

1. Lower Blood Pressure Levels

Hypertension could increase a senior’s odds of having a stroke. Therefore, it is important for your loved one to maintain blood pressure at the level recommended by his or her physician. Reducing salt intake and avoiding stressful situations can help your loved one lower his or her blood pressure. Be sure to monitor your loved one’s blood pressure regularly. 

2. Eat Healthy

If your loved one is obese, he or she is twice as more susceptible to a stroke than a healthy senior. The goal for aging adults is to have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less. If your loved one is overweight, he or she should start eating a healthy diet containing no more than 2,000 calories per day (depending on his or her current BMI and a doctor’s recommendation). Be sure your loved one avoids eating unhealthy foods such as burgers, red meat, ice cream, and cheese. Instead, try adding fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products to his or her diet. 

3. Exercise Regularly

Even if your loved one is not overweight, he or she will need to stay physically active to remain heart healthy. Moderate exercise at least five days a week can help reduce the risk of stroke. Your loved one can take a walk after eating breakfast or join a local fitness club with his or her friends. If your loved one is unable to exercise for 30 minutes at a stretch, he or she can split it up into a few 10-minute sessions throughout the day.

If you are the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Oakville, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. 

4. Stop Smoking 

If your loved one smokes cigarettes or cigars or uses other tobacco products, the amount of plaque buildup and blood clots in his or her arteries can increase. When the oxygen level in your loved one’s blood drops, his or her heart will have to work harder to pump blood, which could lead to a stroke. To help your loved one quit smoking, make sure he or she stays away from people, places, and events that trigger his or her craving for a cigarette. Surround your loved one with family and friends who can encourage him or her to give up smoking. It is also a good idea for your loved one to consume sugar-free gum and healthy snacks whenever he or she craves a cigarette. 

5. Drink in Moderation 

Although excessive drinking can lead to several medical conditions, a glass of red wine could prevent your loved one from having a stroke. Red wine contains resveratrol, which protects the brain and heart. Be sure your loved one has only one standard drink size of wine. Drinking in excess of two glasses a day could increase your loved one’s risk of stroke, heart disease, and other health conditions.

When recovering from a stroke, seniors often need extensive assistance once they return home from the hospital. Oakville post-stroke care professionals are available 24/7 to help seniors maintain a high quality of life while managing the challenges of stroke recovery. To learn about the post-stroke care plans at Home Care Assistance, call us at (905) 337-1200 today.