Heart and Brain Health in the Elderly
May 31, 2022
Did you know there is a connection between heart and brain health? There are some types of heart disease that go hand-in-hand with dementia and other cognitive impairments. Over time, when there is too much damage to the arteries of the heart, a stroke or other cardiac event can occur, leading to dementia. So, as a family caregiver, helping your elderly loved one to keep their arteries strong and healthy is one key to long-term brain health.
Sure, there are some risk factors for heart and brain health issues that are out of your elderly loved one’s control, such as family history and genetics. However, there are some simple guidelines they can follow to improve or maintain both their heart and brain health from this point forward.
Managing Blood Pressure
There are so many senior citizens who have high blood pressure. If this is the case for your elderly loved one, they may need to make some lifestyle changes to lower their blood pressure. They can exercise and eat healthier as a starting point. If needed, you or an in-home care provider may need to take them to their doctor for medication to lower their blood pressure, too.
Reducing Blood Sugar
Did you know that high blood sugar levels can cause heart and brain health issues? There are many senior citizens who struggle with diabetes that have heart disease, dementia, and other cognitive impairments. The longer blood sugar issues go untreated, the more damage that can be done to the person’s heart and brain. So, if you are caring for your elderly loved one and suspect or know they have high blood sugar levels or numbers that are too low, you should have them see their doctor about this.
Become Physically Active
This isn’t just about exercising, although, that would be good for your elderly loved one, too. However, they need to become more physically active, as well. This means getting up every hour or hour and a half to move around. It could just be walking around in their house or an in-home care provider could take them to spend time outdoors or in town.
If your elderly loved one is going to protect their heart and brain health, they are going to need to eat healthier. If they already do this, that is great. If not, they may need a little help and encouragement from you and their home care providers. They can take simple steps to start eating healthier such as choosing to eat an orange for breakfast one day instead of a sugary cereal.
These are some of the best heart and brain health tips for the elderly. Now that you know there is a connection between heart and brain health, you can encourage your elderly loved one to follow through with each one of the tips noted here today.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990