A number of factors are known to have good predictive value for whether someone will have a stroke. Some of these involve a person’s inherited characteristics, while others are related to controllable lifestyle factors. Together, the following factors can provide a good risk assessment for the likelihood of experiencing a stroke.
Smoking and Alcohol Use
Seniors should choose healthy lifestyle practices, such as abstaining from smoking and drinking. When done in excess, both are related to a variety of serious health issues, including strokes. Smoking more than doubles the risk of strokes, and heavy alcohol consumption is strongly associated with an increased risk of fatal strokes. Seniors can reduce their stroke risk by giving up smoking and reducing their alcohol intake.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Green Valley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Diet & Exercise
Being obese or even overweight nearly doubles the risk of stroke. For approximately every 7 pounds a person is overweight, the risk increases by 6 percent. This means, for example, a person who is 21 pounds overweight has an increased stroke risk of 18 percent. A sedentary lifestyle is also a risk factor for strokes, which means physical activity such as walking can reduce both weight and stroke risk. For seniors who need help following a diet and exercise plan, consider hiring a professional caregiver who can provide assistance and encouragement on a regular basis.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare services. 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.
High Blood Pressure
Perhaps the biggest culprit in terms of stroke risk is high blood pressure, a serious medical condition that must be properly managed to avoid dangerous health issues, from strokes and heart attacks to kidney damage. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke by four to six times. Fortunately, blood pressure can be readily handled with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)
Often not diagnosed until after a medical problem has occurred, Afib is a specific type of irregular heartbeat that can cause stroke risk to increase fivefold. Afib generally increases the likelihood of the formation of blood clots, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Once diagnosed, the condition can be managed by a physician, who will likely prescribe anticoagulant medication, which can lessen Afib-related stroke risk by 68 percent.
Age, Gender, & Family History
Stroke risk increases with age, starting at about 55. Men have a higher overall risk, but women are more likely to have fatal strokes. Family histories of strokes or heart attacks can predict risk, especially for families with genetic disorders related to blood flow and the brain.
When aging adults are stressed, their blood pressure levels increase, putting them at higher risk for strokes. Help your loved one develop methods to prevent stress hormones from being released into the body. Seniors can manage stress by maintaining positive social networks, meditating, participating in activities they enjoy, and avoiding stressful situations, people, places, and things.
Caring for a loved one who’s had a stroke can be especially challenging for families whose loved ones are living with other serious conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Green Valley families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at 520-625-2050 today.