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5 Unique Tips for Reducing Stroke Risk in Seniors

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As people age, their risk for stroke rises. While little can be done about family history or genetic predisposition, changes in lifestyle habits can reduce an aging adult’s stroke risk. Here are some alternate ways your senior loved one can lower his or her risk for strokes.

1. Consume Fish Oil

Oils found in salmon, mackerel, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These substances are thought to play an important role in reducing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Fish oil decreases platelet aggregation, making the platelets less sticky and less likely to form blood clots. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy eating fish, talk to his or her physician about substituting fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Your loved one should only take them under the direct supervision of the physician because, if taken with aspirin or prescription anticoagulants, fish oil supplements can raise the risk for dangerous bleeding.

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. Lakewood seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

2. Take Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral essential for heart health, blood pressure regulation, optimal kidney function, and stroke prevention. Seniors deficient in magnesium may be at risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium is abundant in bananas and nuts, and in addition to reducing their stroke risk, people who consume magnesium-rich diets may be less likely to experience anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep disorders. If your loved one’s diet is deficient in magnesium, ask the physician if an over-the-counter supplement would be appropriate. While considered safe, magnesium supplements may interfere with certain blood pressure medications, causing hypotension, or low blood pressure.

3. Eat Garlic

Both raw garlic and garlic supplements have been shown to lower stroke risk in aging adults. Garlic is rich in allicin, a substance that may reduce the risk for blood clot formation. While garlic may lower stroke risk, it can cause abnormal bleeding in people who take aspirin or prescription anticoagulant medications. Before suggesting your loved one increase his or her intake of raw garlic or garlic supplements, check with the physician. 

For many seniors, shopping for fresh foods and preparing nutritious meals on their own can be challenging. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Lakewood, CO, 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.

4. Drink Coffee

Coffee is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, many of which are thought to lower stroke risk in aging adults. Coffee is a nutrient-dense beverage that may reduce calcium levels in the arteries. Unstable arterial calcium can break off and travel through the bloodstream, raising the risk for stroke and heart attack. Coffee may stabilize arterial calcium so it poses less of a risk. Coffee may also decrease arterial inflammation, another potential risk factor in the development of cerebrovascular disease and heart attacks.

5. Get Plenty of Vitamin C

Consuming more citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits as well as eating green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and broccoli may reduce stroke risk in seniors. These foods are rich in vitamin C, which may lower cholesterol and blood pressure while dampening systemic inflammation. Vitamin C is thought to reduce both heart attack and stroke risk because it’s a potent antioxidant, and it’s also thought to prevent free radical damage at the cellular level. If your loved one’s diet is deficient in vitamin C, consider an over-the-counter supplement. While considered safe, vitamin C taken in large doses can cause abdominal pain, heartburn, and diarrhea.

Some aging adults may need help making lifestyle adjustments to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiac issues. In Lakewood, 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 schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (303) 987-5992 today.