The American Stroke Association reports that approximately 25 percent of strokes that occur each year are recurrent ones. A senior is at greater risk for having a second stroke simply because he or she had one in the past. While this statistic may be alarming, seniors can prevent second strokes by being aware of the risk and taking these preventive measures.
1. Get High Blood Pressure Under Control
High blood pressure is a known risk factor for stroke, yet it’s also one of the easiest to change. Seniors should follow a healthy diet and take their prescribed blood pressure medications. Simple lifestyle changes such as minimizing stress and exercising also control high blood pressure.
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 assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading senior care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
2. Stop Smoking
In addition to raising blood pressure, smoking also floods the bloodstream with toxins that increase the risk of stroke. Seniors who have difficulty quitting can find support from smoking cessation groups, or they can talk to their doctors about medications that curb cravings.
Caregivers can celebrate successes during the smoking cessation process with healthy activities to encourage seniors to stay motivated. Keeping your loved one busy can also eliminate many of the cues that trigger cravings throughout the day.
3. Drink in Moderation
Research has shown a glass of wine can benefit the heart. However, seniors who have had strokes should be cautious about indulging. Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases the risk of having a second stroke, so your loved one should avoid going overboard. Seniors who enjoy drinking wine can try healthier beverages such as grape juice, which can provide similar benefits.
4. Take Medications Correctly
The symptoms of a stroke create challenges that may prevent seniors from taking their medications. For example, if your loved one has memory loss, he or she may not remember to take medications on time. Seniors should set up reminder systems, such as alarms, to take their medications. Caregivers can log the times medication was taken in a journal so other care providers know when the next dose should be taken.
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. Rhode Island 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.
5. Manage Diabetes
Having diabetes increases the risk of having a stroke, and it dramatically raises the chances of having a second one. Seniors should work with their physicians to develop plans to keep their blood sugar under control.
It may be necessary to hire a professional caregiver who can monitor your loved one and provide medication reminders when your loved one returns home from the hospital. Helping seniors with meal planning and preparation also makes it easier for them to stick to a healthy diet, minimizing their stroke risk.
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 Rhode Island 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. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (401) 284-0979 today.