As women age, they shouldn’t neglect their cardiovascular health. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among senior women, and it often manifests differently in women than it does in men. To optimize cardiovascular health, senior women need to make the following lifestyle choices.
Everyone knows exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. However, sticking to a fitness regimen is easier said than done, and many senior women aren’t active enough. Women who engage in cardio and strength training exercises for two to three hours a week can lower their blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, and minimize the risk of heart disease.
Women who haven’t exercised in a while should look for senior-friendly exercise options like yoga or chair aerobics. There are plenty of DVDs and videos available for seniors who prefer to exercise in the comfort of their own homes.
Many women prefer group exercise classes, as they provide one-on-one guidance and a motivating atmosphere. After a few weeks of attending a beginner’s yoga class, weekly exercise will become a habit, and your loved one will be on the way to better cardiovascular health.
Your loved one may need help exercising and making healthy lifestyle choices. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.
2. Stop Smoking
The connection between smoking and heart disease is well known. Smoking damages the arterial linings, allowing fatty material to build up within the arteries, which inhibits healthy blood flow and can cause strokes, heart attacks, and more. Women are more susceptible to the damaging effects of smoking than men, so it’s crucial for senior women to end their smoking habit. While it’s never easy to quit, this doesn’t mean your loved one shouldn’t try. Nicotine substitutes and motivational therapy are often effective.
3. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods
Women at risk for cardiovascular conditions should eat foods proven to boost cardiovascular function and avoid foods that don’t have health benefits. Encourage your loved one to swap white bread and pasta for whole grain alternatives and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Instead of snacking on chips, your loved one should eat protein-filled nuts like almonds and walnuts. Lean protein is also essential, and fatty fish like salmon should be a dietary staple.
If your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals or making healthy lifestyle choices that promote longevity, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Kennebunk, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Align Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
4. Get Rid of Stress
Constant stress and feelings of depression increase the risk of heart disease. Senior women experiencing these feelings need to find a way to mitigate their anxiety or depression. Your loved one could seek help from a therapist or psychiatrist or seek other methods of stress relief like meditation, a healthy sleep regimen, and regular exercise.
5. Know the Symptoms of Heart Attacks
When men have heart attacks, they have difficulty breathing and feel pain in the chest, arms, and back. When women have heart attacks, the symptoms may be less obvious. In the weeks before a heart attack, women often experience unusual levels of fatigue, sleep disturbances, and breathing difficulties. When they’re experiencing heart attacks, they may feel short of breath, weak, tired, dizzy, nauseous, and sweaty. Senior women often don’t realize they’re having heart attacks, which means they don’t receive the proper treatment. By staying informed, your loved one can get the medical attention she needs in the event of a heart attack.
Encourage your loved one to incorporate these strategies into her routine so she can stay active and independent for longer. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Kennebunk, ME, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Align Home Care today at (207) 835-3490.