Heart Healthy Tips for your Aging Parent

Senior Care in Briarcliff NY

Dr. Ralph Sacco, past president of the American Heart Association, states that “New studies have shown that the risk factors that can lead to heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure,Senior-Care-in-Briarcliff-NY physical inactivity and obesity, also contribute to dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss and cognitive dysfunction.” Diet and exercise play a vital role in diminishing these risk factors. Addressing these issues is an important role that family caregivers provide to aging parents.


Although the types and intensity of suggested exercise may change as people age, the tried-and-true basic exercise model remains the same. This model advocates 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week to include both aerobic and muscle-strengthening types of exercise. If your loved one is starting their exercise program from a sedentary lifestyle, gradually work-up to the recommended schedule and be sure to contact their health care provider before beginning any exercise regime. Aerobic activity, such as a brisk walk, should be a daily activity while strength training should be performed every other day. For motivation, consider sharing the story of Earnestine Shepherd. This inspirational woman started working out at the age of 46 and now, at the age of 74, is a body-builder competitor as well as a personal trainer at her local gym.

One of the most important elements of an exercise program is that the participant enjoys it. If not, excuses will override desire and the program will be short-lived. A long-term, progressive program is the only kind that your heart will reap the benefits of.

Heart Healthy Diet

Focus on food in its natural state. This means a diet high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains and low-fat meat. Processed foods, sugars, and beverages containing sugars or substitute sugar products should be kept to a minimum. Trans-fats such as partially hydrogenated oils should be avoided altogether. Replace these with healthy fats such as extra-virgin olive oil. Reduce sodium intake by replacing salt with flavorful herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil and parsley.

Senior Care Provider

A heart-healthy exercise program and diet take time and consideration. Knowing this type of lifestyle benefits not only the heart, but the mind as well, should offer some encouragement to your aging parent. If time is limited, consider obtaining the services of a senior care provider a few days a week. They can assist with the daily activities of living, prepare heart-healthy meals as well as shop for the ingredients, accompany your parent on their daily walk, and provide transportation to the gym and other appointments.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in Briarcliff, NY, call the friendly staff at The Perfect Home Care at (855) 855-5728.  Call today!


Resources: www.heart.org/heartorg/conditions/Living-A-Heart-Healthy-Senior-Life_UCM_471885_Article.jsp#mainContent


Geralyn DiGiovanni, Manager, Client Services