Delores Peich
(909) 931-2822

Senior Living Placement, Referral, & Advisory Services Completely Free.

 

NEWS SENIOR CARE

Heart Healthy Ideas for our Seniors…and for us, The Caregivers!

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In honor of National American Heart Health Month, I thought I’d spend a few minutes going over some really great strategies to keep both our loved ones and ourselves on the right track to keep our hearts in great shape!

 

As we go about our day to day ‘duties’ in taking care of our parents and the seniors in our lives, whether it be hands on with them in our homes or theirs, or simply our scheduled phone calls to check in on them, it’s important to stay on track with keeping their hearts in the best shape possible. There are many things we can do that are not only easy but beneficial for everyone in our lives:

  • While taking care of a home bound senior, suggesting a short walk will do wonders. Even if it’s just to get the mail or walk around the block. Take a moment to “stop and smell the roses”, and I mean this in every sense of the word. Ask your loved one the names of the flowers and trees you pass, and use this as a great way to spark a memory and encourage a story from their past when they may have enjoyed tinkering in the garden.
  • If possible, try to engage your senior in tasks around the house. “Jobs” are very important both physically and mentally for a senior who doesn’t get outside much. Helping out in the kitchen, putting away groceries, sweeping the kitchen or even vacuuming are all great ways to get a sedentary body moving. Engaging in ‘projects’, even as simple as folding laundry gives the senior a sense of purpose, and also gets the blood pumping a bit.
  • If you have a ‘wilderness trail’ near your home, and most of us do, getting out for a little fresh air, seeing others walk their dogs, and stretching our legs all contribute to good heart health.
  • Water exercise is one of the best ways to maintain heart health. Leg lifts, walking across a shallow pool, and treading water all get the heart pumping.
  • Static Stretching (simple stretches which we hold for 15-30 seconds) while taking slow relaxing breaths is another great way to exercise our hearts.
  • Diet plays a huge role in heart health. Including these foods in a regular diet is an important part in maintaining heart health: Salmon, ground flax seed (in a smoothie is an easy way to use this), oatmeal, black or kidney beans, almonds, walnuts, and a little red wine (if the doctor approves!).

The main thing here is to try to stay active. ”Active” does not mean, aerobic exercise, running a marathon or intensive weight training for seniors. A little activity goes a long way, and with our encouragement, we can keep our seniors and ourselves around for a long time! As caregivers, we have all heard that our jobs keeping our seniors healthy is not only stressful but physically draining. Keep yourselves healthy, because without our health, we can’t do our loved ones any good…now get out there and MOVE! If you are having trouble getting your loved ones on board, give us a call. We have great resources for you and your loved ones to get everyone healthy and equipped to stay around for a long, long time! If you haven’t already done so, check out my Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support group (held the second Tuesday of each month at The Claremont Club) for a nice time of respite, ideas and support for the caregiver. I’d love to see you there, and help you in your journey to keep your loved ones healthy and happy.

Have a fantastic week!

Laura

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