Older adults are at high risk for developing blood clots, which can lead to deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, or strokes. According to healthcare experts, caregivers can recommend the following tips to their senior loved ones to reduce their risk of blood clot formation.
Don’t Sit Still
Seniors who remain in the same position for extended periods may have blood pool in their legs, which could lead to blood clots. Walking or stretching every hour or two could prevent a blood clot from forming. If your loved one has mobility issues because of a medical condition, he or she can perform low-impact exercises to get blood flowing.
A home caregiver can help your loved one exercise in safety and comfort. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Green Valley Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
Dehydration causes the blood to thicken, which increases the risk of blood clots. However, drinking plenty of water every day can prevent this issue. Staying well hydrated is especially important when seniors fly on airplanes because the high altitude quickly causes blood to thicken.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Seniors should stop smoking and maintain a healthy weight to reduce their likelihood of developing blood clots. If your loved one is bedridden because of surgery or an injury, have a caregiver get his or her legs moving.
Recovering at home from an illness or injury can be difficult for seniors to handle on their own. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Elevate the Legs
Encourage your loved one to elevate his or her legs throughout the day. Your parent can do this during a nap or while watching TV. Seniors need to elevate their legs from their feet, not their knees. Make sure your loved one doesn’t prop a pillow under his or her knees to elevate the legs. Instead, your loved one should raise his or her feet approximately six inches above the heart and avoid crossing his or her legs.
Wear Compression Socks
Compression stockings provide support to the muscles and blood vessels in the lower legs. They also reduce swelling and the risk of blood clots. These socks are especially important for seniors who have varicose veins or leaking vein valves. The compression stockings you choose for your loved one should reach the knees or higher.
Wear Loose Clothing
Family caregivers should encourage their loved ones to wear loose clothing that doesn’t restrict their circulation. Tight underwear and socks can constrict the blood vessels and increase the potential of clotting. Seniors should also avoid wearing belts and other accessories that put excessive pressure on certain areas of the body.
Monitor Food & Medication
To avoid blood clots, older adults should pay careful attention to their diet and medications. Consuming large amounts of vitamin K, which is most often found in leafy green vegetables, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, has been shown to cause blood clots because the nutrient plays an essential role in coagulation. Prescription blood thinners might be necessary to counteract the effects of vitamin K. The doctor can prescribe the proper dosage of blood thinners so your loved one doesn’t experience the common side effects of these types of drugs, such as excessive bleeding or bruising.
By encouraging your loved one to follow the above suggestions, he or she can reduce the risk of blood clots and related medical issues. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Green Valley, Arizona, 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. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us at 520-625-2050.