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Managing Heart Care For Seniors

As we get older, it becomes more and more important to take care of your health, especially the health of your heart.  In India, the latest statistics show that cardiovascular diseases are among the top causes of premature mortality among seniors, especially in women. However, the outlook is positive as many of the risk factors of heart disease are preventable. People are starting to become more health-conscious and trying to reduce unhealthy habits in their lives. Instead of focusing on crisis and intervention treatment when things go wrong, prevention can play an important role in keeping the heart healthy.  

Today, in this blog, we will talk about heart disease and we will also share simple tips for managing heart care for seniors. 

Age and Heart Disease

Your heart changes with age so as you grow older, the risks also increase. Your heart muscles can grow weaker, so your heart might not be able to beat as fast when you are physically active. Arteries can also become stiff, causing a condition called arteriosclerosis which can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). However, heart disease doesn’t have to be a part of life. 

Tips For Managing Heart Care for Seniors

  1. Shop for Heart-Healthy Groceries 

When you shop for seniors, it’s essential to know which food has to be avoided and which is good for your health. Make sure you keep foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole-grain items at the top of the list. Replace bad fats with healthier fats. One of the easiest ways to do this is by choosing blended cooking oil like Saffola Gold. This edible oil helps manages your cholesterol and it is also rich in anti-oxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals contribute to oxidative damage, which leads to various heart diseases. Blended oils with a good balance of all 3 fatty acids are one of the best cooking oils options. Saffola Gold with dual seed technology gives you a good balance of healthy fatty acids like MUFA and PUFA in a single edible oil – providing you with better nutrition. 

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Having a weight problem is another leading cause of heart disease in seniors. When extra body fat accumulates around the waist, seniors have more chances of developing strokes and heart disease. Extra weight raises blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and blood cholesterol while lowering healthy cholesterol levels. Regular aerobic exercise such as a 30-minute daily walk can help with weight management and reduce the risk of heart disease in seniors. 

  1. Stay active

Staying active isn’t just important for managing your weight. Physical activity can also provide you with protection against many health conditions including cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise has been shown to provide long-lasting benefits for your heart within just a few months of including it in your routine. Plus, it is also great for your mental health, which is an added benefit for people of all ages. WHO recommends that you should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a healthy lifestyle. 

  1. Manage blood pressure

High blood pressure puts extra pressure on the circulatory system. It can also damage the artery walls and build up scar tissue. With the increase in blood pressure, the smooth flow of blood and oxygen is affected and it causes the heart to pump even harder and wear out more quickly. To maintain blood pressure reduce the intake of salt and saturated fat foods.

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking can lead to a variety of health issues and studies show that it also increases the risk of coronary heart diseases. Smoking may increase the risk of narrowed blood vessels which can lead to increased blood pressure. As the chances of developing heart diseases also increase as you get older, quitting smoking is one of the ways to lower that risk.  

  1. Cut out sugary beverages

Sugary beverages like soft drinks and packaged fruit juices are empty calories with little or unhealthy nutritional content. Their regular consumption contributes to diabetes and weight gain and both of these increase risk of heart problems. Instead of sugary beverages, go for healthier alternatives like coconut water, chaas, or just plain water.

  1. Do regular health check-ups

For seniors, regular health check-ups should be scheduled with the doctor as sometimes, heart diseases don’t have symptoms that are very noticeable. So, a health check-up should definitely be a proactive heart care measure that should be taken by seniors which can help catch any irregularities early and prevent complications. 

Symptoms of Heart Disease 

Proactive care can go a long way in caring for your heart. But it is also important to be aware of the symptoms of heart disease so they can be detected early. Pain or pressure in the chest should be a sign to get in touch with your doctor. But there are also some other symptoms of heart disease you should look out for, as per the U.S. Department of Health: 

  • Fluttering sensation in your chest
  • Feeling that your heart is skipping a beat or beating too hard, especially if you are also feeling weak 
  • A tingling sensation, pain, or numbness in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back
  • Shortness of breath when you’re active, at rest, or lying down
  • Pain in your chest during any physical activity that improves when resting 
  • Headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, or confusion 
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, stomach, and/or neck
  • Reduced ability to be physically active or problems during day-to-day activities

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to get it checked by your doctor. 

Take these healthy yet simple suggestions to heart to keep your heart running smoothly for the long haul. Remember, you hold the power to make healthy choices and it’s never too late to begin your heart-healthy journey. 

Disclaimer:- This article is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

References:

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/health/india-s-burden-of-heart-diseases-study-says-elderly-women-more-at-risk-74993 

https://www.iipsindia.ac.in/sites/default/files/LASI_India_Factsheet.pdf 

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/heart-health-and-aging 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3910023/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53012/ 

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/weight-a-silent-heart-risk 

https://www.cardiosmart.org/topics/older-adults-and-heart-disease/overview

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6304477/

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