Heart attack: just hearing those words can make your heart beat faster, and rightfully so. Heart attacks strike as many as a quarter of a million Americans each year, and of those, over 100,000 result in death.
Since, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it’s important for each of us to assess our heart attack risk and make the necessary lifestyle changes to avoid becoming a part of these alarming statistics. There are certain heart attack risk factors that are not within our control, such as:
- Gender. Sorry, men, but you’re more likely to experience a heart attack than women, and at a younger age as well. Even in later years, when women’s risk increases, the risk to men is still greater.
- Age. Heart attacks that occur in older adults (over age 65) are more likely to result in death.
- Genetics. Heart disease is hereditary; so those with a parent who suffered a heart attack are at a heightened risk for being impacted than others. Heart disease risk is also higher in African Americans, Mexican Americans, native Hawaiians, and native Americans, as well as some Asian Americans.
However, there are also a number of factors over which we do have control. Following the guidelines below can go a long way towards preventing a heart attack:
- Stop smoking – or, if you’re a nonsmoker, refrain from picking up the habit.
- Stay active.
- See the doctor regularly to monitor cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and to manage any chronic conditions such as diabetes.
- Keep your weight within a healthy range, and make healthy dietary choices.
- Reduce your level of stress; set aside time for calming activities that you enjoy, and talk with a professional therapist or counselor to address any unresolved stressors in your life.
This quick, online quiz from the American Heart Association can help you assess your level of understanding about maintaining optimum heart health.
Compassionate Nursing Services can also help reduce a senior’s heart attack risk in a variety of ways: preparing heart-healthy meals, providing transportation to medical appointments and to pick up prescriptions, encouraging exercise and activity to strengthen the heart, and much more.
To help your senior loved one stay healthy and well right in the comfort of home, give us a call at 314-432-4312. Our expert in-home care services are available throughout St. Louis and the surrounding areas, and we’d love to help make life healthier, safer and more fulfilling for a senior in your life!