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American Heart Health Month: How a Home Care Aide Can Help Seniors

Feb 1, 2018 by Gregg Gammello

Meal preparation, companionship, and medication reminders are a few services provided by home care aides to promote heart health for seniors

Numerous organizations and associations support American Heart Health Month every February, campaigning to raise awareness about heart disease and educate people on how to prevent it. As heart-related diseases are considered the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, predominantly affecting the elderly population, together with a professional home care aide, we have prepared the following info sheet that can help your senior loved one improve their heart health.

What Is Heart Disease?

Cardiovascular disease or simply heart disease is the general term used to categorize diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as coronary artery disease, silent ischemia, angina, heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, heart defects, and peripheral arterial disease, just to name a few.

Heart Disease Causes

The main cause of any heart disease is narrowing and blockage of the arteries by fatty plaques, a process known as atherosclerosis. Over the course of time, these plaques slowly deteriorate the walls of the arteries. As any professional home care aide can point out, this is usually caused by a combination of an unhealthy diet based on salty, sugary, and processed foods, lack of physical activity, obesity, smoking or drinking too much – factors that can easily be prevented.

Heart Disease Symptoms

Each and every heart condition has similar symptoms. The most common symptom of heart disease is chest pain. Seniors with chest pain, also known as angina, often experience accelerated pressure or a dull sensation of heaviness, discomfort, and fullness in their chest.

Other heart-related symptoms your senior loved one needs to be aware of include nausea, dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations that may feel like the heart is beating either too hard or too fast, irregular heartbeats, and sudden, unexpected feelings of overwhelming weakness. When your senior parent or relative complains about any of these signs, urge them to visit their physician as soon as possible.

Preventing Heart Disease

Nowadays, many older adults can successfully prevent and/or manage various heart conditions through healthy lifestyle choices. A professional home care aide can recommend these simple strategies as they can help your senior mom or dad prevent heart disease:

  • Visit your doctor regularly, perform screening tests. and monitor your heart health
  • Enjoy a well-balanced diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and reduce sodium consumption
  • Try to maintain an optimal, healthy weight
  • Adopt a senior-friendly exercise regimen such as brisk walking, jogging or water aerobics
  • Manage stress levels
  • If you are a smoker, quit this detrimental habit
  • Avoid drinking alcohol

Apart from educating yourself and your senior loved one, our home care aide suggests you consider making a small donation to an organization that funds heart research and remember to wear red in support of American Heart Health Month this February. 

 

Comfort Keepers of Lansdale, PA provides senior care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Ambler, Colmar, Earlington, Franconia, Gwynedd, Gwynedd Valley, Hatfield, Hilltown, Kulpsville, Lansdale, Line Lexington, Montgomeryville, No Wales, Rushland, Sellersville, Souderton, Spring House, Telford, Tylersport, West Point and Worcester.

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