A heart attack is a frightening experience, causing damage to the heart and sometimes even death. When an older family member has a heart attack, you understandably want to do everything you can to prevent them from having another. Below are five tips to help your aging relative to avoid another heart attack.
1: Know the Risk Factors
Having a heart attack puts older adults at higher risk for having another one. In addition to knowing that, it’s also important that you know what other risk factors can contribute to the likelihood of having a heart attack. Knowing the risk factors makes it possible for seniors and their family caregivers to work toward reducing them. Risk factors for heart attack include:
- High blood pressure
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High cholesterol
- High blood sugar levels
- High levels of stress
2: Choose Healthier Foods
What your aging relative eats can make a big difference for heart health. For one thing, eating a healthy diet can help with weight loss and weight management. It can also help to manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. A heart healthy diet is one that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. It is also low in sugar, salt, and saturated and trans fats.
3: Keep Track of Numbers
Make sure your aging relative has their cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar checked regularly. Because there are typically no noticeable symptoms when these numbers become elevated, there’s no way to know they are high unless they are checked.
4: Increase Physical Activity
Exercise helps make the heart stronger. Older adults should try to get 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 times per week. Remember that physical activity does not have to mean going to the gym to workout. Walking, swimming, dancing, and gardening are also excellent forms of exercise for seniors. In addition, exercise does not have to occur in 30-minute increments to count. Shorter spurts of exercise throughout the day that add up to 30 minutes count, too!
5: Ask Elder Care How They Can Help
Elder care is another good way to help your aging relative to improve their heart health and prevent a second heart attack. Elder care providers can assist with managing heart attack risk factors by reminding seniors to take medications and driving them to medical appointments. Elder care providers can also cook heart healthy meals and encourage the older adult to be more physically active.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.