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5 Surprising Tips for Reducing Stroke Risk in Aging Adults

By , 9:00 am on

Strokes are quite dangerous, but fortunately it’s possible to make lifestyle changes that may prevent strokes. Basic things like taking blood pressure medication and going for a run aren’t the only ways to reduce stroke risks. Encourage your aging loved one to try out these five unique activities to lower the chances of having a stroke.

1. Remember to Floss

There’s a surprisingly strong link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. People who don’t take care of their oral health end up with high amounts of bacteria, and the capillary-filled tissue of the gums lets these bacteria easily enter the bloodstream, where they can cause clots and inflammation. Make sure your loved one brushes his or her teeth twice a day and flosses once a day to reduce stroke risk.

Some aging adults need a bit of assistance when they’re trying to adopt healthier habits. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Edmonton seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

2. Enjoy Some Chocolate

Snacking on chocolate may be good for your loved one if he or she chooses the right type. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that reduce inflammation in both the heart and brain. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology evaluated over 30,000 people and found stroke risk decreased by 14 percent for every 1.8 ounces of dark chocolate the subjects had each week. Just remember to adjust your loved one’s daily caloric intake, because no amount of flavonoids can counteract the effects of obesity. 

For some seniors, preparing nutritious meals on their own can be challenging. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable senior home care. Edmonton, AB, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

3. Spend Time with Loved Ones

Hanging out with friends and family members does more than just provide entertainment. It can actually affect stroke risk. A 2014 review published in Stroke examined multiple studies and found that having an impaired social network could make a stroke more likely. Being able to spend time with friends is important for stroke prevention because it reduces stress and encourages people to participate in more active lifestyles.

4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Making sure to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night helps with stroke risk in multiple ways. Being well rested cuts back on stress and prepares seniors to manage the daily inconveniences of life, so it has a positive effect on blood pressure. Getting enough sleep also helps seniors maintain a healthy weight because people are more likely to crave sugary, fatty foods when they’re tired.

5. Relax with a Morning Cup of Coffee

Many seniors avoid coffee because it can increase blood pressure a little. However, the benefits of the protective antioxidants in coffee may outweigh the risk of a temporary blood pressure spike. A 2012 meta-analysis of 27 different studies found drinking coffee could reduce stroke risk by up to 8 percent. As long as seniors keep their coffee consumption to moderate levels and avoid suddenly drinking more than they’re accustomed to, coffee can be a helpful way to lower stroke risk.

Some aging adults may need help making lifestyle adjustments to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiac issues. In Edmonton, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, 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. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (780) 490-7337 today.