4 Ways to Reduce Senior Stroke Risk with Non Medical Home Care
Roughly 800,000 Americans have a stroke every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet. It’s among the top-5 causes of senior mortality and a major contributor to disability among older adults, with strong research links to difficulty walking, memory loss, and speech problems.
Non medical home care should not be your primary stroke risk intervention. However, your non medical home care team can start implementing the following healthy behavioral modifications as part of your custom care plan:
- Getting the right amount of sleep. We all know that too little sleep causes all kinds of health problems. In one study by the University of Alabama, researchers found that seniors who got less than six hours of sleep each night quadrupled their stroke risk. Lack of sleep is linked to elevated inflammation, stress hormones, blood pressure, and blood sugar. But too much sleep isn’t a good thing, either.
“The sweet spot you should shoot for is seven to eight hours a night,” writes Mitchell S.V. Elkind, M.D. a professor of neurology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and chair of the American Stroke Association Advisory Committee.
But monitoring your loved one’s sleep hygiene isn’t easy for caregivers that work full-time or have other family obligations pulling them away at night. That’s where our non medical home care team can help. Whether you need to create a better sleep environment, purchase sleep aids, implement a bedtime routine, or schedule wake-up calls, we can do it all. Talk to your non medical home care provider about determining smart sleep goals, then “set it and forget it.”
- Optimizing oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing isn’t just about keeping your teeth white; it may also help keep your heart healthy. In 2018, a report in the journal of Cerebrovascular Diseases Extra concluded that poor oral hygiene increased stroke risk, likely due to the blood vessel inflammation caused by excess oral bacteria and plaque.
Need somebody to plan trips to the dentist and provide safe transportation? Or maybe you need help monitoring your loved one’s oral hygiene routine? Contact our team–it’s all included in our custom care plans.
- Cutting back on red meat. Diets too heavy on red meat really take a toll on your ticker! A new study found that seniors who consumed more than 100 grams of red or processed meat each day had a 19% greater risk of heart disease.
Incorporating lean proteins into your diet doesn’t have to be hard. With our non medical home care service, it’s as easy as asking. We take care of the shopping, meal preparation, service, and clean-up, so all your loved one has to do is show up hungry and enjoy a wholesome meal!
- Spending more time on your feet. Sitting for prolonged periods is linked to significantly higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Those who sit 10+ hours per day have an 18% higher chance of stroke than those who sit for 5 hours or less, regardless of how much exercise they fit in to try to balance things out.
“You can run three to five miles a day, but if you spend the rest of the day sitting, you may undo whatever advantage the physical activity gave you,” Elkind says.
And if your loved one needs a ride to the gym, company for gentle nature walks, or a friend to get them out to a local seniors dance, look no further than your non medical home care team.