Although women typically develop cardiovascular disease later than men, heart disease remains a leading cause of death in females across the United States. Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of more women than accidents, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and lung disorders combined. In lieu of these statistics and thousands of scientific articles concerning heart disease, a panel of widely recognized healthcare professionals and researchers developed a guideline for physicians and women alike to reduce the risk of heart disease. Here are a few things elderly women can do to enhance their heart health.
1. Assess Personal Risks
In addition to other commonly known risk factors, women have conditions unique to them that heighten the risk. These conditions include:
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia
- Gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Premature babies
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Breast cancer treatments
Women and their physicians can work together to determine a personalized risk profile that may be low, medium, or high. Assessing and knowing risk factors enables women to make the changes necessary to boost their heart health.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Pembroke Pines, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Regardless of their heart health risk profile, all women have the chance to reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by adopting various healthier options, which may include:
- Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke
- Engaging in a minimum of 30 minutes of moderately strenuous physical activity five times a week
- Switching to a heart-healthy diet consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, and grains along with low or non-fat dairy products, lean meats, and fish
- Maintaining a healthy weight and balancing caloric intake with the amount of daily activity
- Adopting a cardiac rehabilitation program
3. Consider Medical Interventions
In some situations, medical interventions are required, as diet and exercise may not be sufficient for correcting risk factors.
- Healthy blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mmHg. Women with habitual blood pressure readings of 140/90 often need medical interventions.
- Total cholesterol levels should be less than 200 mg/dL, bad cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL, good cholesterol readings should be more than 50 mg/dL, and triglyceride levels should be under 150 mg/dL.
- When diabetes develops, women must make diet, exercise, and medications priorities to control blood glucose levels. Otherwise, they are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
If you are the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Pembroke Pines, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
4. Take Prescribed Medications
Women with the highest risk profile many already have symptoms of heart disease. However, in addition to lifestyle changes, certain medications can increase longevity. These medications may include:
- Ace inhibitors
- Baby aspirin
- Niacin prescriptions
- Fibrates for triglycerides
- Anticoagulation therapy
5. Avoid Class III Medical Interventions
Certain interventions are not appropriate for preventing cardiovascular disease and may cause harm. Women should consider avoiding the following treatments:
- Estrogen and progestin
- Antioxidants in the form of beta-carotene and vitamin E
- Daily aspirin in low-risk women
Another way to help your loved one keep her heart healthy and stave off serious health conditions is to hire a professional caregiver who can assist with daily tasks. In Pembroke Pines, FL, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Whether your loved one needs minor help with daily tasks or comprehensive 24-hour in-home care, call us at (954) 374-8273 today.