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A stroke can be very debilitating, and it can even leave your senior loved one with a long-term disability. There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood of a stroke, but reducing those factors can also reduce the risk itself. Here is a list of some risk factors to watch for, brought to you by the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance Redondo Beach.
1. High Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure should be 140/90 or less. If seniors regularly have blood pressure higher than this, their hearts are working harder, which increases the risk of having a stroke. Your loved one can reduce his or her salt intake to lower blood pressure, but medicine may also be needed to help control the blood pressure level. Avoiding fast food, processed foods, cold cuts, and canned soups can also help your loved one reduce overall salt intake.
Seniors who have diabetes often also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, both of which can increase the risk of stroke. Your loved one can help control his or her diabetes by eating well and losing weight. Losing even 10 pounds can make a difference in blood sugar levels.
3. Lack of Exercise
Becoming active and participating in moderate physical exercisecan help your loved one feel better andreduce stroke risk at the same time. Exercise reduces blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and can help him or her maintain a healthy weight. To gain he most benefits, your loved one should aim for about 150 minutes of exercise weekly.
4. Tobacco Use
For smokers, the risk of having a stroke is doubled, possibly even quadrupled. Smoking increases the risk because it can thicken the blood, narrow the arteries, cause clot formation, and increase the amount of plaque that builds in the arteries. Your loved one can use a nicotine replacement therapy to help quit smoking altogether, which may lead to the most overall health benefits.
Although making healthy decisions can help prevent strokes,some seniors may be at a higher risk for stroke than others. If your loved one has had a stroke and you would like more information on post-stroke care in Redondo Beach, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our professional stroke caregivers can help with personal care needs like grooming and feeding, offer mobility assistance, and provide transportation for medical appointments. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call (310) 504-0506today.