Having a stroke is a major health incident that is as serious as having a heart attack. Without immediate attention, it can result in death, and even with immediate attention, it can result in serious damage and require long-term medical care. Having a stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the most common cause of serious adult disability.
While some factors that increase the risk of developing a stroke cannot be altered such as family history, race, and sex, there are other lifestyle steps your aging loved one can take to reduce his risk of having a stroke. Some of them are fairly simple steps but others may require the help or support of a home care provider to assist your loved one in making the change or being consistent about it. Here are seven steps your loved one can take to reduce his risk of having a stroke.
Having a healthy, well-balanced diet is one of the first steps many older adults should take to not only reduce the risk of having a stroke but also prevent many other diseases and improve overall health. A home care provider who helps prepare meals or takes your loved one shopping can be a great teammate in helping your loved one incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables in his diet as well as foods that are low in saturated fats.
Like healthy eating, regularly exercising can help reduce the risk of a stroke. Swimming, taking a brisk walk, or enjoying a physical hobby like gardening or tennis, are all great ways to keep the body healthy. A home care provider can help your loved one create a consistent exercise program that will keep him active.
If your loved one smokes, it may increase his risk of a stroke. Helping him find a stop-smoking program, as well as having a good support group around him will help him stop the habit and reduce his risk for a stroke, along with many other health concerns.
If your loved one has diabetes, he should understand that untreated diabetes can increase the risk of stroke. One health issue related to diabetes is damaged blood vessels which lead to narrow arteries, increasing the possibility of a blockage occurring.
Treating high blood pressure, either through medication or lifestyle changes (or both), reduces the risk of both a stroke and a heart attack.
High blood cholesterol levels may lead to plaque building up in the arteries which may then create a blockage of blood flow and lead to a stroke. Have your loved one’s cholesterol checked dn then work with his doctor if it is high.
If your loved one is on blood thinners, work with his doctor to make sure the dosage is correct and won’t lead to blood vessel ruptures. Taking healthy steps now can reduce the risk of a stroke in your loved one’s future.