With the right approach to care and rehab, it’s possible for seniors to recover fairly well from strokes. However, the National Stroke Association reports one out of every four strokes that happen in the United States each year affect people who’ve already had at least one prior stroke. However, there are some ways senior stroke survivors can reduce the risk of having second strokes. Here are four ways to achieve this goal.
1. Make Healthy Diet Adjustments
It’s common for senior stroke survivors to experience changes in appetite or eating habits because of mobility limitations or swallowing difficulties. If this is the case for your senior loved one, try mixing up meals with bright, vibrantly colored fruits and veggies, softer treats that can still be nutritious, such as smoothies, and flavorful spices with known anti-inflammatory and cell-protecting benefits, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger, and rosemary. Even if swallowing isn’t an issue, a second stroke may be prevented with a healthy diet that includes:
• Lean meats and other healthy sources of protein
• Low-fat dairy products
• Whole grains and fiber-rich foods
It’s also a good idea for seniors looking to prevent second strokes to avoid added sugars, too much sodium, and trans fats.
A home caregiver can prepare nutritious meals that suit your loved one’s dietary needs. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Naples Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Stay Active
Initially, it may be difficult for stroke survivors to be physically active beyond routines recommended during physical therapy sessions. As progress is made, encourage your loved one to find comfortable and enjoyable ways to continue to exercise to ward off another stroke. Physical activity helps with this goal by boosting blood circulation to the brain and keeping the heart functioning well. While each situation is different, a post-stroke exercise routine may involve:
• Water-based exercises
• Slow-movement disciplines like yoga and Pilates
• Brief walking if mobility has increased
• Chair-based exercises
If your loved one needs assistance with exercising safely, consider enlisting the help of a trained home caregiver. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading homecare agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
3. Manage Underlying Health Conditions & Mitigate Risks
From diabetes and heart disease to chronic high blood pressure, several different underlying health conditions can increase the risk of having a second stroke. Some of these issues may have even contributed to the initial stroke. Health-related risks should be managed or mitigated as well. This includes monitoring cholesterol levels and making appropriate adjustments to diet and other lifestyle factors. Some stroke survivors also develop sleep apnea, a type of periodic sleep disruption that’s been associated with a higher risk of second strokes. This is because interruptions in breathing can reduce the oxygen supply to the brain. Additionally, stroke survivors are often advised to:
• Quit smoking
• Maintain or get to a healthy weight range
• Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
4. Take Post-Stroke Medications as Directed
Stroke survivors often take a laundry list of medications. Some of them are prescribed to manage stroke-related issues, but others are preventative. Whether post-stroke medication is meant to be taken temporarily or regularly for preventative purposes, it’s important to remind your loved one not to skip dosages just because he or she gets to a point where he or she feels fine. Some medications play a role in stroke prevention in a way that’s not evident but still important and beneficial.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Naples, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (239) 449-4701 today.