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Tips for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

By Lauren Robison, 8:00 am on

A heart healthy lifestyle well into the senior years can provide a wealth of benefits. Along with helping seniors decrease the risk for potentially debilitating illnesses such as heart attack or stroke, heart healthy lifestyles promote overall wellness and health. So what exactly does a heart healthy lifestyle include Check out these tips from Home Care Assistance, one of the top home care agencies in New Hampshire.

Diet

Eating for heart health is not just about eliminating or decreasing salt, fat and other “bad-for-you” foods from the diet. Experts recommend eating lean and green and paying attention to proportion sizes. This means sticking to lean cuts of meat such as chicken and turkey, packing meals with fresh vegetables and produce, and finding the right eating schedule that meets your aging loved one’s needs.

Family caregivers can help their loved ones eat healthier patterns by adopting healthier eating patterns themselves. By including the entire family, your loved one is less likely to feel singled out and is more likely to adhere to new changes if he or she is able to witness everyone else doing so as well. Also, try to include your loved one in the planning of these new healthy meals. Whether it’s asking them to help you look at recipes or including them on a grocery shopping trip, the more involvement they are able to have, the less chance of resistance.

Exercise

Although there are several reasons that may contribute to a senior’s sedentary lifestyle, some of the more common culprits include fear of injury and physical limitations. Mom or dad may be afraid of falling or may suffer from pain as a result of conditions such as arthritis. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay active through modified exercises and activities. For example, seniors who are not able to stand for long periods of time can perform chair exercises. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with taking a light stroll around the block with a friend or family member. Anyway that you can make exercise fun and accessible will help increase the chance of your loved one to participate.

Stress

There is a belief that seniors do not have as many stressors as their younger counterparts, but this is simply not true. From worrying about finances to health and future abilities, elders, as with anyone else, experience stress, and it’s important for them to keep stress levels in check. Exercise, relaxation techniques and talking things out can assist your aging parent in decreasing stress. If mom or dad is not into these things, that’s okay too. There are other hobbies that are shown to decrease stress such as gardening, assisting in the care of a family pet or simply spending some time outdoors have all shown to be positive stress-releasers.

Interested in learning more about keeping an aging parent or loved one safe and healthy as they embark on their golden years? Reach out to the New Hampshire live-in care specialists at Home Care Assistance. Along with flexible live-in and hourly care, we provide highly trained and compassionate caregivers who can assist seniors with nutritious meal preparation, daily exercise activities, medication reminders, personal care, transportation and so much more. For more information, call 603-471-3004 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager today.