Does your senior already know what her stroke risk factors are? If not, she might be overdue for a conversation about stroke risk with her doctor. The easiest way to avoid a stroke is by addressing some lifestyle decisions that your elderly family member might not realize are directly connected to that goal. Making a lot of changes all at once can be overwhelming, so talk to her about what she’s willing to shift.
Talk with Her Doctor about Exercise
Your senior should talk with her doctor about her overall stroke risk in general and about exercise in particular. Just a few minutes of exercise every day can dramatically improve your elderly family member’s overall cardiovascular health and therefore reduce her stroke risk. At first, she doesn’t need to push herself hard, especially if she hasn’t exercised in a long time. What’s most important is that she’s moving her body and that she keeps doing so. Over time, she can build up her stamina so that she’s exercising more and continuing to strengthen her heart.
Adjust Her Diet to Include Healthier Options
What your aging family member eats is super important for cardiovascular health. Talk with her about what her diet looks like now. If she is eating a lot of processed foods, it’s important to incorporate more vegetables, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Lean proteins can also be an important swap. Senior home care providers can make it a lot easier for your elderly family member to make this switch. They can take over meal preparation and even grocery shopping for your elderly family member. Having home care providers there with her during meals may even make it easier for her to enjoy eating a healthier diet.
Focus on Mental Well-being
Your senior’s mental wellness matters when it comes to avoiding strokes, too. Lots of seniors are far more stressed than they realize, especially when they live alone and don’t socialize as much as they used to. Having companionship from senior home care professionals can make it a lot easier for your aging family member to be healthier mentally and physically, which can go a long way toward keeping her stroke risk as low as possible.
Reduce Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Vices
If your elderly family member drinks or smokes, she’s already heard all about how it isn’t healthy for her. She may even know that these choices can increase her stroke risk. But nagging her probably isn’t going to make her change her mind. If you can convince her to try out some of these other lifestyle choices, she may decide on her own to cut back or to leave these substances behind on her own. That’s the ideal course, but a lot depends on what she chooses.
In the end, what you really want is for your elderly family member to be safe, healthy, and happy in the time that she has left. Find options that help her to embrace a healthier lifestyle as much as possible while still enjoying her life.