Over 70 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have cardiovascular disease and an estimated 15 percent have heart disease. Though there are changes in the heart and arteries that take place with age, much of the damage occurs due to disease. Atherosclerosis—a build-up of fatty deposits in the walls of arteries—is the most common of these diseases. The restricted blood flow that is produced can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that your parent can adopt to promote the health of their arteries and heart, changes that you, as a family caregiver, should consider making as well.
A heart-healthy diet consists of foods that are low in fat and salt. The Mediterranean diet made headlines when researchers discovered that those who adhered to this type of diet in Southern Italy and Greece had lower rates of heart disease and stroke. It consists of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, beans, whole-grains and garlic. Olive oil is the fat of choice, poultry is consumed in smaller quantities than the typical Western diet, and red meat is enjoyed no more than once a week. This type of diet revolves around a lifestyle that has a come si come sa attitude and enjoys shared meals and regular exercise.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week plus two days of strength training. Exercises to consider are water aerobics, bicycling, dancing, brisk walking and strength training with weights or resistance bands. Additional activities that increase balance and flexibility are often recommended. These can be found in activities such as yoga and Tai Chi.
Smoking damages arterial walls and increases the risk of heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. If your parent has trouble breaking this difficult habit, consider looking into SmokeFree 60+, a website that offers tips, tools and online support for seniors.
Home Care Provider.
A home care provider can assist your parent with everyday activities. They can also prepare heart-healthy meals, accompany your parent on daily walks, and provide transportation to the local YMCA or senior community center. They can attend social events with your aging family member and share in meals and games while chatting over a cup of tea as the sun descends. Companionship is just one of the services that home care provides—but it is often the one that your parent will cherish the most.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Mountainside, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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