Even when seniors try to remain healthy, their cardiovascular systems can change over the years. While some of those changes shouldn’t cause any major health problems, seniors might still have to face a number of cardiovascular issues as they grow older. Luckily, with a nutritious diet and smart lifestyle habits, older adults should be able to keep their cardiovascular systems strong and healthy.
Aging & the Heart
After decades of pumping blood, the heart is naturally going to become weaker. In addition to some of the cells breaking down, the valves also stiffen. Stiffened heart valves typically aren’t a major problem unless the senior already has underlying health issues. That being said, stiff valves could result in a heart murmur. The pumping capacity of the heart may drop as well, which might impact blood pressure, energy levels, and recovery time following injuries.
A Look at the Blood Vessels
Most of the blood vessels become thicker and stiffer over time, increasing an individual’s risk of many different health problems. Clots are common as well, and seniors must be very careful if they have family histories of heart attacks or strokes. When a clot breaks loose, it can make its way to vital organs and cause a tremendous amount of damage.
Blood Pressure Problems
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a pervasive medical issue that can be caused by a variety of internal and external factors. In addition to certain genetic factors that increase the risk of high blood pressure, daily habits play an important role as well. Some of the biggest risk factors for hypertension include a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity, and high stress levels.
If your loved one needs help adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, a professional caregiver can be a fantastic resource. Toronto in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Following a Heart-Healthy Diet
To keep the cardiovascular system as healthy as possible, seniors should try to stick to a relatively strict diet. Every senior has different needs, but most older adults benefit from a diet that emphasizes nuts, legumes, fresh vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, and seafood. Aging adults should also try to avoid foods that contain large amounts of saturated fat, sodium, or sweeteners. The occasional treat is perfectly fine for the average senior, but fatty, salty, and sweet foods shouldn’t be eaten regularly.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition and healthy lifestyle practices can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for your loved one. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Exercising to Boost Cardiovascular Health
Following a healthy diet is a great start, but being active is very important as well. Most experts agree seniors should try to be physically active for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day. Older adults who don’t enjoy traditional exercises might want to take a dance class or go for a brisk walk every day. Even household chores can burn calories, strengthen muscles, and boost heart health.
A professional caregiver can provide additional support for your efforts to help your loved one adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Toronto Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (416) 488-8777.