An individual’s chance of having a stroke increases with age. Fortunately, there are many things that seniors can do to take control of the situation. Vancouver stroke care specialists recommend that seniors adopt the following healthy habits to minimize their stroke risk:
- Monitor blood pressure. Many people don’t know they have high blood pressure. See your doctor regularly and keep a journal of your BP readings, even if you don’t have high blood pressure.
- Regulate blood sugar. If you happen to have a stroke while your blood sugar is high, the damage to your brain could be even worse. Follow a healthy diet and be especially vigilant about sugar levels if you have diabetes.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking clogs your arteries and robs your blood of oxygen, forcing your heart to work harder. Research suggests that quitting smoking can greatly reduce your risk of a stroke.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. While some research suggests that a drink a day could lower your stroke risk, other research decrees that consuming more than one alcoholic beverage per day increases your risk. The happy compromise: Drink in moderation, but do so only after discussing this habit with your doctor.
- Take a multivitamin. Stroke has been correlated with certain nutritional deficiencies, including low B6, B12, and folic acid. As always, check with a physician before taking supplements. Your doctor will also be able to help you determine which supplements are best for your individual needs.
- Guard against atrial fibrillation. Take notice of symptoms that could relate to a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, or “afib.” Research shows that having afib increases your chance of having a stroke by a factor of five. Symptoms include a fluttery/racing heart and feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
- Eat well. Choose lean meats like chicken and fish, whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. If you have trouble with nutritious meal preparation, consider help from a professional caregiver in Vancouver. Caregivers can provide reliable transportation to the grocery store, assist with nutritious meal preparation and can also help with other activities including light housekeeping, medication reminders and personal care.
- Don’t ignore warning signs. If you experience any of the following, get immediate medical attention: Sudden numbness/weakness, difficulty speaking, vision problems, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of coordination, and severe headache.
For more information about stroke care or senior health, reach out to the live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance of Vancouver. While we specialize in 24 hour care, we also offer flexible hourly care schedules, giving seniors the freedom to choose the level of amount of care that is most comfortable for them. Call 778-279-3634 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule your free in-home consultation.