Elderly residents living in Lake Forest and Highland Park, down through Northbrook, Winnetka and Evanston are living with conditions that stem from strokes. Although seniors do not have complete control over the likelihood of having a stroke, there are ways to gain some control.
Aging with a family history of strokes increases a person’s chances of having a stroke, and unfortunately, these things are out of one’s control. These are factors that cannot be changed, avoided or reversed. Strokes occur when there is a broken blood vessel or blood clot that prevents blood flow throughout the body.
However, making lifestyle changes can help prevent strokes. The National Stroke Association explains that over 17 million people experience strokes worldwide, and about 80% of these strokes can be prevented. The National Stroke Association suggests the following precautions be taken to reduce the risk factors of having a stroke.
- Research has shown that there is a link between alcohol use and strokes. It is suggested that people limit how much alcohol they consume, where men have no more than two drinks a day and women no more than one.
- Smoking increases the risk of having a stroke, and it increases the chances by double. Smokers should quit smoking and not give up trying to break the habit.
- Physical activity has proven to reduce the risk of a stroke, so incorporating exercise into weekly routines would be beneficial. Any sort of physical activity that increases a person’s heart rate is great—walking with a friend, swimming, riding a bike and more. Exercise helps lower blood pressure, which plays a huge part in stroke risk. Before incorporating physical activities into a weekly routine, seniors should consult with their doctor to confirm it is safe to start.
- A healthy diet will also decrease the risk of a stroke. Limiting sugar intake and foods that are high in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats is the best place to start. Replacing those foods with more protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help lower a person’s blood pressure, and therefore, lower their stroke risk.
If you or someone you know has a higher risk for a stroke, contact a medical professional to discuss what changes need to be made to lower the risks.
For more information about receiving in-home care for stroke patients, please visit http://www.thehomecarespot.com/chronic-care/stroke-care/.