While genetic predisposition and family history of stroke cannot be modified, there are certain things that can be altered to reduce stroke risk. Making healthy lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on the risk of strokes. Here are six risk factors older adults can control to reduce their likelihood of experiencing strokes.
Older adults who carry excess weight around the abdomen may be at risk for stroke because excessive belly fat represents large amounts of visceral fat located deep in the abdomen. Visceral fat can surround the internal organs, including the kidneys and liver, and lead to organ damage and subsequent stroke risk. If your senior loved one is overweight, suggest healthy recipes that can help him or her with weight loss. It’s best to consult with a nutritionist before suggesting any diets.
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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is an important risk factor in the development of stroke. Older adults can control high blood pressure by managing their weight, making healthy dietary choices, exercising, and taking their prescribed medications.
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3. High Cholesterol
Having high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can raise the risk of stroke. Also known as bad cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins can lead to the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries. If your loved one’s cholesterol levels are abnormal, the physician may recommend weight loss and exercise to lower them. In case diet and exercise fail to bring about favorable results, the doctor may recommend taking cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.
Smoking can damage the capillaries, lead to poor circulation, raise blood pressure, and increase the risk for cardiac arrhythmia. If your loved one is unable to quit smoking, visit the physician. The medical expert can recommend effective smoking cessation therapies such as nicotine replacement products like gum or patches, support groups, or prescription medications.
5. Alcohol Consumption
Limiting alcohol consumption may keep hypertension at bay, prevent liver disease, and reduce the workload on the kidneys and heart. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to blood thinning and raise the risk for hemorrhagic strokes, cerebral hemorrhage, and bleeding inside the brain. Drinking too much alcohol may also interact with certain prescription medications, which increases the risk for a cerebral vascular accident.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Little Rock, AR, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly parent, call Home Care Assistance at (501) 764-1312 today.