Stroke is a very serious risk for older adults. Each year throughout the United States more than 795,000 people suffer a stroke and 140,000 of those die as a result of it. Of these, approximately 75 percent are over the age of 64. As a family caregiver this shows the critical importance of understanding the potential risk factors for stroke that your parent faces and what you can do to reduce those risk factors and help them to stay healthier throughout their later years.
Though many of the risk factors associated with stroke are lifestyle-related, there are also medical risk factors that your parent might face that they can also control, further reducing their risk and protecting their health. Some of these risk factors include:
- Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Those who live with high blood pressure are at a much higher risk of stroke than those who do not. This is the leading cause of stroke, but can be controlled through various methods, including diet, exercise, weight loss, and medications.
- AFib, also known as atrial fibrillation, is a particular risk factor of those over the age of 64. This form of irregular heartbeat can lead to strain and damage to the heart that increases the risk for stroke, but can be controlled with medications.
- High cholesterol can put additional strain on the heart, furthering the risk of heart disease and stroke. If your parent is living with high cholesterol it is important that they take steps daily to keep their numbers down.
- There is a very strong link between diabetes and stroke. Because diabetes can result in frequent periods of high levels of glucose in the blood that damage the blood vessels and strains the heart, diabetes that is not well controlled increases the risk for stroke by two to four times.
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be extremely challenging, particularly if you are a member of the sandwich generation caring for both your aging parent and your children, or if you live at a distance from your parent and you are not able to be with them as often as you would like. Fortunately, if you are having difficulty managing your parent’s needs and challenges, or simply feel that they would benefit from additional care and support, home care can help. An in-home care provider can give your parent a personalized approach to care that ensures that their needs, limitations, and challenges are met in a way that is right for them, while also supporting their pursuit of a lifestyle that is active, engaged, and fulfilling. This can ease your stress and give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus your energy and attention in the most effective ways while also managing the other aspects of your life in the bets way possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Princeton, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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