A stroke refers to the death of brain cells. It happens as a result of the blockage of oxygen to the brain. They are known to affect people of all ages, but are more common among people over the age of 65. This is because they tend to live with a far greater number of risk factors causing a stroke such as cardiac disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Some strokes may be mild, allowing the senior to recover from it completely. However, other cases can be devastating and may even lead to permanent disabilities or even death in some instances. These are some steps which can be taken to lower the risk of strokes in seniors.
- Consume a healthy diet
There are certain healthy foods which can help reduce the chances of a senior from suffering a stroke. They should eat foods which are high in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Meals consisting of whole grain foods, vegetables, fruits and fat-free dairy products provide the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Eating oily fish at least twice a week is suggested as well, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids. Combining these foods can help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure and also helps them keep their weight down.
- Regularly exercise
Seniors must put in the effort to be active daily. Managing to cram in a few minutes of exercise into their daily schedules can provide great results to their overall health. This could consist of getting together with family or friends and doing something as simple as going for a walk. They may also consider joining an exercise program which can be locally situated for their convenience.
- Alcohol consumption in moderation
Seniors must keep in mind not to overindulge when consuming alcohol. Having too much of it in their system can significantly increase their risks of having a stroke. Men must avoid consuming more than two drinks a day and women must consume no more than one a day. However, even if they don’t drink during the rest of the week, they must keep the recommended amount in mind on the weekends as well.
- Quit smoking
Smoking is a leading cause of a stroke in seniors. Strokes are caused by blood clots and smoking comes with the risk of such clots in several ways. It causes the blood to become stickier and also encourages plaque to build up in the arteries. It also reduces the level of good cholesterol (HDL) present in the blood, which is required to offset its harmful form (LDL). Smoking also has the tendency to intensify many of the other risk factors resulting in a stroke.
Though a few lifestyle changes as the ones mentioned above can help reduce the risks causing a stroke, most seniors have other medical conditions which significantly increase their chances of having one. Remember that most strokes can easily be avoided by simply incorporating a few healthy changes in their daily habits. However, it’s essential for them to make it a top priority.