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Steps Older Adults Should Take After a Big Health Episode

By Cherie Coe, 9:00 am on

Having a heart attack, stroke, fall, or other serious illness can be a worrying event for seniors. Managing the aftermath of a major health scare requires seniors to make some important lifestyle changes and focus on their wellbeing. After a major health scare, seniors and their family members should take these steps.

Follow the Doctor’s Advice

The most important thing to do after a major health scare is to follow the doctor’s instructions. Seniors may need to follow a specific diet or avoid certain physical activities depending on the nature of the health scare. They may need family members to help them with physical therapy. It is also necessary to continue taking prescribed medications for as long as the doctor recommends instead of throwing them out when your loved one feels better. To make sure all medical advice is followed correctly, it is a good idea to keep a notebook filled with the recommendations your loved one receives. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver to ensure your loved one receives high-quality in-home care while recovering from a major health scare. Jefferson County, Colorado, senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.  

Ask for Help

Recovering from a health scare can be an overwhelming task, so it is important for seniors and their family caregivers to be honest about their own limitations. Some seniors might find it difficult to ask family members for help with eating, grooming, or housekeeping tasks, but it is important to arrange for assistance when they really need it. Likewise, family caregivers should consider getting help from a respite caregiver if they find it difficult to manage their caregiving tasks after the health scare. 

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Jefferson County, Colorado, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Eat a Healthier Diet

A healthy diet is important for recovering from illnesses or injuries. Seniors typically need a diet with plenty of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Diet is particularly important for seniors recovering from a heart attack or stroke, as they need to cut back on salt, sugar, and red meat and increase their fiber intake. Talk to a doctor or nutritionist if you need help planning your loved one’s diet.

Don’t Start Exercising Immediately

After a health scare, many seniors try to jump into rigorous exercise programs because they want to get healthy as soon as possible. However, this can put a lot of stress on the body while it is still trying to heal. Seniors should not exercise after heart attacks or other major health events until the doctor says it is okay. Once your loved one is cleared for physical activities, he or she should start slowly with gentle walks and swims.

If your loved one needs assistance with exercise or managing daily tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families looking to hire a Jefferson County caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve. Call us at (303) 987-5992 to schedule a free in-home consultation.