Heart disease prevention is most reliable when health and lifestyle guidelines are started early in your life. This is a good idea and goal, but most people don’t think about heart concerns when they are young and even when they do think about it, they find it hard to be disciplined enough to follow the guidelines needed for lifelong prevention.

Lifestyle, diet, environment, and heredity are all contributing factors to heart disease. As we age, heart disease can present itself at any point, and usually, a diagnosis is what gets our attention which starts us on a plan of prevention. Seniors can benefit from prevention measures regardless of how they have lived their lives. Prevention measures may help slow the progression of heart disease and extend your life.

Here are a few basic guidelines to live by:

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Monitor blood pressure.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Reduce stress.

As we age, risks for heart disease increase. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart related numbers may begin to rise even with healthy life choices. The environment and your family history can contribute to changes in your heart health.
Managing heart disease and preventing it are inclusive. Looking at the list above can be overwhelming but not if you make small changes. Committing to 15 minutes of walking a day will make it become a habit after about one month. Then changing one diet item will become a habit, going to bed a little earlier, and so on will build up into a set of healthy habits.

Regular checkups with your primary care physician and following up with a cardiologist if they recommend it are important steps to understand your lab and heart numbers. Making small changes when the numbers are starting to change will help you succeed.

If you are a caregiver of an aging parent, you may want to consider making an appointment with us to review health including heart health. We can help make a plan of care to look at how to best support them as they age. Our goal is not to go in and make them change everything about their lives but rather to learn how they want to live and look at ways we can support their wishes and also help them live the best life possible. If your parent has a heart attack or other heart related illness that suddenly occurs, please reach out and we’ll partner with them to provide the best care for recuperation and the future.

We’re happy to help reduce the stresses of aging and caregiving. Please give us a call at (203) 258-2640 or email us at info@growingoptions.com to find out more.