According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Although the risk of developing heart disease increases with age, there are many things your elderly loved one can do to keep his or her heart healthy. Here are a few suggestions, brought to you by the Placer County at-home care experts at Home Care Assistance.
Take a Senior Yoga Class
Stress is a major contributor to heart disease, and stressful life events can increase your loved one’s blood pressure. For this reason, a yoga class designed for seniors is the perfect way to make exercise serve a dual purpose. As your loved one performs yoga poses, he or she will be increasing circulation while also enjoying the benefits this low-impact exercise can have for promoting relaxation.
Eat a Bowl of Oatmeal
Fiber is important for keeping the digestive system running efficiently, yet oats go beyond helping digestion. Oats act as a sponge in the digestive tract by soaking up cholesterol so it is eliminated before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. For the best results, your loved one should avoid instant oatmeal, which is often full of sugar, and sweeten old-fashioned oats with heart-healthy fruits instead.
Spend Time with a Dog
The American Heart Association reports owning a pet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and this can be attributed to several factors. Petting the soft fur of a dog or cat has been shown to decrease stress and lower blood pressure. Dog owners are also more likely to take them for walks, which can increase their daily amount of physical activity. If owning a dog is not possible for your loved one, then spending time with a friend’s or neighbor’s pet can still help him or her reap the benefits for the heart.
Use Chili Peppers for Flavor
The sense of taste diminishes with aging, and many elderly people start adding salt to their food, which can contribute to heart disease. As an alternative, your loved one can use chili peppers to increase his or her enjoyment of meals while also taking advantage of the benefits of a compound they contain called capsaicin. Capsaicin has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and the formation of clots in the arteries.
To learn more about how to keep your loved one’s heart healthy, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with exercise, nutritious meal preparation, and much more. For seniors who need more extensive assistance, we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care in Placer County. Call one of our experienced Care Managers today at 916.226.3737 to schedule a complimentary consultation.