Heart Healthy Habits for Seniors


American House Florida

For more information about the author, click to view their website: American House

Posted on

Jul 17, 2023


Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties , Florida - Southwest

Share This

Facts About Heart Disease

It’s important to know the facts about heart disease as it’s the leading cause of death of people in the US. According to the CDC:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
  • One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
  • About 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • Heart disease costs the United States about $363 billion each year from 2016 to 2017. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.

Taking care of your heart health is so important and there’s a lot you can do to prevent heart disease.

Here are a few healthy habits to keep your heart in great shape!

Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet

Low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, colorful fruits and vegetables are great for your heart and seniors should get at least five servings of these per day. Make sure to read all nutritional facts and limit saturated and trans fats and added sugars. Nuts and high-fiber foods are great to have, while you’ll want to avoid high-fat dairy or meats. Make sure to stay hydrated and limit the amount of alcohol you drink. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

High visceral fat levels can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing issues, and certain types of cancer. But managing your weight can help to lower many of these levels and improve your overall health. Consult with your doctor about the right BMI for you. Following a heart-healthy diet and being physically active can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight!

Stay Active

Regular exercise can help you lose excess body weight, improve physical fitness and well-being, and lower your risk for many conditions, including heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. See Four Easy and Impactful Chair Exercises for Seniors. Always consult your doctor before you start a new fitness routine, especially if you have physical impairments or take certain medications.

Practice Self-Care

According to NHLBI, small acts of self-care, like taking walks, getting quality sleep, and cooking healthy meals, help your heart.

Research from Harvard University suggested stress could be as important a risk factor as smoking or high blood pressure. Chronic stress can affect your memory, learning, immune system, anxiety, and depression, especially as you age.

Here are a few self-care tips provided by NHLBI:

  • Get a daily dose of physical activity.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Cook meals that are low in sodium and unhealthy fats.
  • Take your medications as prescribed and keep your medical appointments.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours a night.
  • Manage stress through, for example, meditation, yoga, a warm bath, or quiet time with a good book or funny movie.

Know the Symptoms of Heart Disease and seek medical attention immediately

Early heart disease can be unnoticeable. It’s important to maintain regular check-ups with your primary care physician to ensure your health. Contact your doctor if you experience any of these common symptoms:

  • Feeling faint
  • Weakness or a sensation of light-headedness
  • Having a hard time catching your breath
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting
  • Feeling very full or having indigestion
  • Pain in the chest or an uncomfortable pressure in the chest
  • Unusual pains in the back, shoulders, or neck
  • Sweating
  • An irregular heartbeat


Living Well Is Being Well™

At American House, our mission, Living Well Is Being Well™, promotes whole-person health and wellness of the mind, body and spirit. Our brain health, wellness and enhanced mindfulness programs help you discover and grow personal choices that improve and support your lifestyle.

In conjunction with our Living Well Is Being Well mission, our maintenance-free lifestyle is designed around our belief that if you live well, you will be well. It presents you with extra time to concentrate on your health and wellness goals, explore new interests and continue your story in the company of friends and povidones’ believe the engagement of the mind, body and spirit will provide you with a lifestyle that is interesting, fulfilling and rewarding.

It will give you the opportunity to focus on your overall well-being—in a place where your happiness and wellness matters...American House Senior Living Communities.


Other Articles You May Like

Lung Cancer Screening: What You Need to Know

Early detection of lung cancer increases your odds of successful treatment and celebrating more birthdays. But a lung cancer screening comes with a few risks, too. So, should you get checked?The American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) say yes if you meet certain criteria tied to long-time cigarette use.Lets take a closer look at your options with pulmonologist Peter Mazzone, MD, MPH.Who should get a lung cancer screening?A lung cancer screening isnt for everyone, states Dr. Mazzone. Its recommended only for adults who are at high risk for the disease which explains why screening guidelines are pretty specific.The USPSTF suggests an annual lung cancer screening if all of the following apply:  Youre between age 50 and 80.Youve smoked at least 20 pack-years of cigarettes. (To calculate pack-years, multiply the average number of packs smoked per day by the number of years you smoked. So, 20 pack-years is one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years).You currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years.Its also important that youre healthy enough to benefit from finding and treating early-stage lung cancer. People who get tested dont typically have symptoms of lung cancer.If someone comes to us in a wheelchair already wearing oxygen and couldnt tolerate treatment, they typically arent eligible for screening, clarifies Dr. Mazzone. However, there are nearly 15 million Americans who are at high risk and should receive screening.It should be noted, too, that a lung cancer screening is a quick and painless imaging exam. It uses low-dose computed tomography, or low-dose CT, to capture very detailed pictures of your lungs.Why is lung cancer screening important?As noted, lung cancer often doesnt announce itself with early symptoms. So, without an annual screening, lung cancer is often detected once the disease has progressed and spread which makes successful treatment less likely.People with lung cancer have about an 80% chance of being alive five years later if the cancer is diagnosed and treatment begins during Stage 1. The five-year survival rate is about 4% if tumors have spread.That leads us to this alarming reality: Only about 1 in 4 people with lung cancer are diagnosed before the cancer spreads. Early detection is key to changing that, says Dr. Mazzone.Are lung cancer screenings perfect? Of course not. Scans sometimes detect small spots called nodules that look concerning but are basically harmless little scars. Radiation exposure is a concern, too. Ditto for overdiagnosis of conditions and additional testing and stress.But the benefits of lung cancer screening still outweigh any potential harm for many people, notes Dr. Mazzone.How often is lung cancer found during a screening?Lung cancer is found in about 1 in every 140 people who get screened. This may sound like a small number, but its about the same or better than the results for breast cancer and colon cancer screening.How to decide whether to get a lung screening?A counseling session is often required before a lung cancer screening so you can discuss lung cancer risks, the screening process, benefits and potential harm. It can be a complex and difficult decision for people to make.Many people value the potential benefit of screening so much theyre happy to accept them, explains Dr. Mazzone. Others may have a different perspective. Talk to your doctor to help decide whats best for you.And because the test is annual, the decision on whether to do it can be revisited every year.This article was written by Lungs, Breathing and Allergy Team from Cleveland Clinic and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive.Contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama for your medicare and health insurance needs. Contact them at 251-344-2115

Heart Health and Fitness

How Much Can Our Caregiving Services Benefit You?Keeping fit is an important part of maintaining ones heart health. Exercise can be both safe and helpful for many people with heart disease, with and without surgery, state the authors of Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions (Bull Publishing, 2012). Exercise can lower your risk for future problems, reduce the need for hospitalization, and improve your quality of life.The American Heart Association, which suggests 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week to prevent heart disease. Walking is one of the exercises recommended by the AHA. There are tips for what to wear when walking, how many miles to walk, how many minutes to walk, how to stretch for walking, and the best time of day to walk all on the American Heart Association website.Walk with a Doc is an international non-profit program that pairs local doctors and healthcare professionals with walkers in local communities. These informal gatherings occur on a weekly or monthly basis in parks and other outdoor public spaces and can be a pleasant social activity too.Examples of Beneficial ExerciseSwimming, light calisthenics, and riding a stationary bicycle are generally considered safe conditioning activities for those with heart disease.People tend to be more successful with their exercise regimen when they have an accountability partnersomeone who provides encouragement and assistance to make it possible to reach goals.Communicate with a health care provider to get the most out of an exercise program and to ensure the safety of any new exercise regimen.Some heart conditions limit the kinds of and amount of exercise you do, explain the authors of Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions. Poor circulation, irregular heartbeats, or severe heart disease require that a health care provider might need to give clearance before a person should exercise. Always remember that if you develop new or different symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or rapid or irregular heartbeat while at rest or while exercising, you should stop what you are doing and contact your physician.Contact Homewatch CareGivers. Were happy to answer any questions you have regarding our caregiving services.  Call us today at 952-260-6223

February is a time when the nation spotlights heart disease

Love is in the air this month, and part of that means taking the best care possible of the ones you love. February also is a time when the nation spotlights heart disease, the number one killer of Americans. As part of American Heart Month, take some time to combine the two - focus on the heart health of the ones you love the most, including the seniors in your life. People aged 65 and older are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease, according to the National Institute on Aging. Its time to get down to business. Focus on the heart health of the seniors in your life. Ensuring they get checked out by a medical professional is important. But also do some fun, healthy things together to promote heart health.Here are 25 tips for seniors to be heart-healthy.Make an appointment to see your primary care physician. Find out how youre doing, and see what recommendations he or she has for your heart health.Go to the free yoga classes at Venice Beach. There are classes in the morning or a sunset class at 5 p.m. each day, all for free, seven days a week.If youre still using tobacco products and smoking at this age, its time to stop. Make this the year you quit. If you have a senior loved one in your life that smokes, help them stop and make it a goal for this year.Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Know your healthy ranges, and ensure you stay within those.Find some new recipes that are heart-healthy and make them together with your senior loved one.Head outside each day. Even if youre just going to fetch the mail from the mailbox, it gets you moving and out into the fresh air.Be around people. Loneliness is bad for the heart. Find friends you want to be with, join an event at the senior center, or call up a family member you havent talked to in a while.Get some Zzzs. The Centers for Disease Control says getting enough sleep is vital for heart health. Portion control is key to healthy eating. Before your meal or before you snack, measure out your portions, so you dont overeat. Head to the Peace River Gardens in Punta Gorda. There are different botanicals to see throughout the year. It is a great place to walk around and get some exercise while seeing the sculptures and artwork. There also are events to attend throughout the year.Make it a goal to walk at some different beaches this year. Try a new one each week. Hit some youve never tried before, or go back to an old favorite. Walk a little further each time you visit. Walking in the sand is great exercise, and looking at and listening to the ocean is good for the soul. Feel the sunshine on your face at least once a day if its shining, even for a minute. Whether you simply step onto your patio or head to the beach, it is a great way to get into a good mood and improve your overall health.Move a little more each day, or each week. Make some goals, such as walking one block further, or riding your bike for a minute more each week. Every little bit counts, and leads to heart healthier habits.Have you gone to the grocery store and seen some odd-looking spiky fruits and wondered what they were? Put one of those in your cart and try one for the first time. See if its something you want to add to your heart-healthy diet. It seems like everyone loves pickleball. Try it out and see if youre a fan too.Hire a caregiver that can help you get moving. Compassionate caregivers at places such as Visiting Angels Punta Gorda can provide services such as companionship on a walk around the neighborhood, or fall prevention help as you do laps in your own home. Hunt for sharks teeth at Venice Beach. Even if you dont find a lot, the act of bending down each time, sticking your hand in the water and seeing what treasures youve found is exercise, and its a fun hunt and thing to do. Watch a comedy or a funny show. Laugh out loud. As they say, laughter is the best medicine.Turn on the tunes. If you have upbeat music playing in your home or car, you cant help but bop around to it. It puts you in a good mood and adds more movement to your day. Head to a farmers market and grab some fresh fruit and vegetables. Wash them up so you have healthy, ready-to-eat snacks.Make sure your seniors get up and out of bed and moving each day. If needed, hire a caregiver that can help them get dressed and ready for the day. Being dressed and ready helps put them into the right mindset to be active and alert during the day. As youre sitting down watching a show, lift some hand weights or do some leg lifts. Make it a goal to do 20 on each limb while youre watching the nightly news before dinner. Stand more if youre able. Do some of the tasks you might usually do sitting down while standing instead. For example, pace around the house while youre on the phone instead of sitting in your comfy chair. Stretch each day. It not only keeps you more nimble, but stretching can get your heart rate up.Eat at least two servings of fish a week The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are great for heart health.Visiting Angels is Here to HelpIf you are looking for help with your senior loved one as they strive for heart health, our professionals at Visiting Angels Punta Gorda are here to help. We provide a variety of home care services to meet any need they might have, from getting dressed for a morning walk to help with light meal prep.Our expert team of caregivers serves clients in Punta Gorda, North Fort Myers, Boca Grande, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva, Arcadia and surrounding areas. To learn more about our services, call us at 941-347-8288, or fill out an online form here.

Local Services By This Author

American House - Ft Myers

Memory Care 14001 Metro Pkwy., Fort Myers, Florida, 33912

American House Senior Living Communities at 14001 Metro Parkway in Fort Myers, FL, offers exceptional senior living in a welcoming environment. Our community is fully remodeled and boasts a wide range of amenities, services, and activities designed to cater to your needs. Enjoy the comfort of our studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, some of which overlook our beautiful pool. Conveniently located adjacent to Lee Healths Gulf Coast Medical Center, our 26-acre campus provides easy access to medical services. Our vibrant community is filled with activities and friends. For times when you need assistance, our team is here to help with meals, laundry, medication reminders, physical therapy, and more. Explore our floor plans and schedule a visit to see our newly renovated community. Experience senior living at its finest at American House Fort Myers.

American House Sarasota

Assisted Living 4540 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, Florida, 34233

American House Senior Living Communities provides exceptional senior living options in Sarasota, Florida. Our community is located at 4540 Bee Ridge Road and offers a range of living options, including Independent Living, Assisted Living, Living Well Memory Care, and Respite Stays.At American House Sarasota, we pride ourselves on creating a warm and welcoming environment where residents can age in place with dignity and comfort. Our community is situated on 18 wooded acres, offering a serene setting while being conveniently close to Sarasota's white sand beaches, cultural attractions, and shopping districts.Our award-winning SUN Program sets us apart, offering engaging activities, helpful services, and a long list of amenities designed around our residents. Whether you're looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle or seeking a supportive environment for a loved one, American House Sarasota has everything you need.Experience luxury senior living at its finest. Schedule a visit today to see why we were awarded Best Senior Living in Sarasota, FL in 2023. Call us at (941) 306-4030 or visit our website to learn more and download our Visitation Policy.

American House- Bonita Springs

Memory Care 27300 Foster Lane, Bonita Springs, Florida, 34135

American House Senior Living Communities, located at 11400 Longfellow Lane in Bonita Springs, FL, offers fully remodeled senior living in a warm, welcoming environment. Our community provides a wide range of amenities, services, and activities designed to enhance the lives of our residents. We offer assisted living, living well memory care, respite stays, and coordination of hospice care.Our community has been awarded Best Assisted Living in Bonita Springs in 2023 and is conveniently located between Fort Myers and Naples on a 26-acre campus with beautiful, landscaped grounds, ponds, and wildlife. Our apartments range from studios to one- and two-bedroom units, some with pond views, and all residents have access to our spacious common areas.We offer a maintenance-free lifestyle, allowing residents to focus on themselves. Whether you prefer relaxing by the pool, shopping trips, or socializing at our daily happy hour, the choice is yours.Our vibrant community offers activities and friendships, with assistance available when needed. Our services include meals, laundry, medication reminders, physical therapy, and activities of daily living. We also offer a variety of floor plans to suit your needs.Visit us today for a tour of our newly renovated community and see why American House is the right choice for your senior living needs.