Every four minutes, the CDC claims someone dies following a stroke. Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. One out of every four stroke victims has already had one stroke. Of stroke survivors over the age of 64, more than half deal with reduced mobility. More than 8 out of 10 strokes are caused by a blood clot.
You want to keep your dad from becoming one of those statistics. What can you do? Here are four things that can help lower the risk of having a stroke.
Get Blood Pressure Under Control
The CDC says that 33 percent of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. According to Harvard Health, adults over the age of 60 should aim for a blood pressure lower than 120/80 or lower. If high blood pressure is diagnosed, a reading of 150/90 or lower is a good target.
Just half of those with high blood pressure have it under control. Medications are often the last resort. First steps to lowering blood pressure involve dietary changes, at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, and quitting smoking.
Get Cholesterol Numbers Down
When cholesterol numbers are high, the fat can build up in arteries. This increases the risk of both heart disease and stroke. It’s recommended that total cholesterol levels are less than 200. LDL should be less than 100, and HDL should be over 59.
To get to those levels, dietary changes are a good start, but exercise and weight loss are often recommended, too. If that doesn’t get the LDL levels down, medications may be recommended.
If your dad smokes, he needs to stop. It’s not easy to quit, but it’s important that he does. Talk to his doctor about a smoking cessation aid, such as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. In addition to lowering the risk of a stroke, quitting smoking also reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, and pulmonary disease.
Diabetes and excess weight can increase the risk for a stroke. Not every person with diabetes is overweight, but type 2 diabetes often does find the person carrying too much weight.
Help your dad get some of his excess weight off. Make sure he’s eating a low-fat diet that’s low in sugar, high in fiber, and rich in fresh vegetables and fruits. Your dad should cook his own meals and avoid takeout or processed meals. If he can’t handle cooking healthy meals, a caregiver can help him plan a menu, go shopping, and prepare meals he’ll love.
Learn more about the ways caregivers help keep seniors health. From companionship to medication reminders, caregivers help seniors complete daily activities of living. Learn more by calling a senior care agency.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care services in Smithtown, NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions.
Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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