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How to Decrease the Risk of Heart Disease of Seniors

Since healthy lifestyles typically correlate with a healthy heart, it’s great knowing that even seemingly small lifestyle changes may improve your heart health. Take the time to learn how to decrease your risk of heart disease.

Sadly, up to 80% of the 17,000,000 annual deaths from heart disease worldwide could be prevented. Heart disease is often a silent killer, sneaking up slowly until suddenly, the heart damage becomes obvious.

You might be planning out your future, but a heart attack or heart disease could change everything. However, if you take time to learn about heart disease and its causes, you’ll become more aware of the daily choices you’re making. You don’t have to waste time worrying about the future if you actively work towards reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attack by making choices and changes to improve your health.

 

Causes of Heart Disease

There’s nothing newly discovered about heart disease. Basically, atherosclerosis is still the main enemy. A buildup of plaque in the lining of arteries over time hardens and narrows the arteries. The blood flow to vital organs and tissues becomes reduced, and finally, heart and blood vessels are hopelessly damaged.

Learn the 3 lifestyle habits most responsible for atherosclerosis:

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking

These above-mentioned poor lifestyle choices, mixed with heavy doses of stress, can be a recipe for heart disease. Still, isn’t it good to know that risk factors like age and genetics may not be within your power to change, but daily lifestyle choices certainly are? Each person has the power to make healthy changes when they are ready.

Takeaway tip: Discover the causes of heart disease. Know the lifestyle choices that could promote heart problems. This way, you can make your own plan to make changes for the better.

 

How to Prevent Heart Problems

Eat well

Our human bodies crave fresh, nutritious whole foods. When we eat well, our bodies can thrive and have optimal health with peak performance abilities. On the other hand, fast foods, processed foods, and poor eating habits can clog arteries with plaque, create high blood pressure, and raise cholesterol levels beyond healthy limits. Consume healthy fats, and smaller amounts of salt and sugar instead, and your heart health is likely to improve.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean Diet are the most recommended plans for eating towards heart health. They’re each slightly different, but their foundations are similar.

Best diets for heart health include:

  • Vegetables, including greens, broccoli, cabbage and carrots
  • Colorful fruits, e.g. apples, berries, melons and oranges and citrus fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Quality proteins
  • Coldwater fish
  • Fresh eggs
  • Healthy fats, from seeds, nuts, and avocados

Whole nutrient-rich food helps keep you feel satiated longer, but don’t give in to processed foods or drinks heavy in salt, sugar, and alcohol or it will undo your good work.

Takeaway Tip: Decide on just one healthy addition to your diet this week. At the same time, eliminate one processed food. Yes, it definitely is possible achieving two changes to better health within a week! Consider fresh fruit in the morning instead of a sugary blueberry muffin, for example.

 

Get More Exercise

Increasing physical activity can improve your health. Get up and move around often throughout the day because activity helps to reduce the four most common risk factors for heart disease.

Getting more exercise:

  • may decrease high cholesterol
  • decreases high blood pressure
  • helps with weight loss
  • lowers the likelihood of type 2 diabetes

You’ll probably want to get more exercise after reading the above list. Try for 180 minutes per week, or a minimum of 20 minutes per day. Health experts recommend keeping your heartbeat elevated for at least 10 minutes at a time. Walking is a great choice, but you might add swimming, dancing, bicycling or weight lifting for exercise instead. It’s all good for you!

Takeaway Tip: Increase your activity by at least 5 minutes each day. Do something simple, like turning on music and dancing in the privacy of your home! Small things do add up, too, so park a little further away from the store so you have to walk further to get inside!

 

Smoking

Smoking isn’t an option. Just stop! Nicotine reduces the size of blood vessels, contributing to damage by carbon monoxide. It can destroy the insides of your heart vessels and it creates a great risk of heart disease.  Sure, it can be challenging to break this habit, but you just need to remember it’s a lifestyle choice,  and it’s within your control. It may be hard to quit… but it’s achievable and people do it all the time. Ask your doctor about local cessation programs or types of products that might help you quit.

Takeaway Tip: Keep your reasons to quit smoking top of mind by listing them on a post-it note and putting it where you’ll see it often. Do you want to generally feel better, be able to do more, or play games with your grandkids? Decide what motivates you!

 

Stress

High inflammation in the body happens after suffering prolonged stress, but these levels can be reduced and managed before arteries are severely damaged. Highly emotional circumstances often precede heart attacks, so don’t let yourself get too far out of control! Do you find yourself drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and suppressing emotions as ways to reduce stress? You might want to find some alternate strategies for relieving stress instead.

How about these options:

  • Talk to a mental health provider for different strategies
  • Meditate
  • Increase daily physical activity
  • Release hurts and frustrations
  • Enjoy your relationships with full intention

Remember that our personal responses to life’s challenges are within our control!

Takeaway Tip:  Are you ready to make some change? How about this one new daily habit? Try writing five items you’re grateful for in the morning or learn deep breathing techniques.

 

Try to know and understand all that you can in order to prevent heart disease. Understand your personal risk factors so you are able to make positive lifestyle changes. Stay focused and be willing to change. Consider heart disease risks that could affect you, then take simple steps, because even small healthy habits will make a difference!

New Research Leads on Treating Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Don’t Lose Hope!

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting elderly people, gradually leads to dementia. Although researches and studies are leading us closer to finding a cure for neurodegenerative diseases, there is no definite treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. As a trusted home health services agency, we understand taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be an around-the-clock task and provide trained and experienced Alzheimer’s care professionals committed to improving the quality of life of your loved one. Read on to learn more about how close the researchers are to finding a treatment for AD and Dementia.

New Biomarker to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have identified a peptide that recognizes a protein that is elevated in the brain blood vessels of AD affected mice and humans. The peptide could act as a biomarker, helping in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

Antiepileptic Drugs Increase the Risk of Alzheimer’s

A new study by the University of Eastern Finland and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases found that continuous use of antiepileptic drugs is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Some antiepileptic drugs are known to impair cognitive function, which can lead to neurodegenerative disorders in the long run.

Antidepressants and Bladder Medicines Possibly Linked to Dementia

A study led by the University of East Anglia (UK) found that people who had been diagnosed with dementia were up to 30 per cent more likely to have been prescribed specific classes of anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications. Anticholinergic antidepressants have been found to be linked with dementia, even when taken up to 20 years before a diagnosis.

Music-based Treatments to Help Alleviate Dementia-induced Anxiety

The researchers at the University of Utah Health conducted a study using a functional MRI revealing that music activates the brain, causing the visual network, the salience network, the executive network, and the cerebellar and cortical cerebellar network pairs showing significantly higher functional connectivity in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, reducing anxiety.

Cancer Drugs to Prevent the Brain Inflammation caused by Dementia

According to a study conducted by UC Irvine, a certain class of cancer drugs, called “CSF1R inhibitors”, which is generally used to treat immunity-related conditions and cancers, such as glioblastoma and tumors, can also eliminate the neural inflammation caused by injuries and disorders such as AD.

Looking for a Home Care Assistance Professional? Look No More!

If you are searching for Alzheimer’s care experts, for your loved one, no need to look any further. Home Care Assistance of Dallas, TX has a team of trained caregivers who are committed to improving the lives of elderly loved ones by providing expert care for a number of age-related disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. To learn more about our home health services and care plans, fill out our contact form or simply call (214) 253-8784.