Did you know that the change to Daylight Savings Time and the end of Daylight Savings Time can have a big impact on senior health? It’s true.
“Falling back” and “springing forward” can significantly increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes for seniors. The change in a senior’s routine can cause them to have problems sleeping also.
Changing the clock means changing when seniors wake up and go to sleep, when they get their medication, and most of their daily routine. Adjusting to those changes isn’t easy. Senior home care is recommended for seniors to help them adjust.
Senior home care is recommended for seniors aging in place so that if they do suffer medical problems as a result of the time change someone will be in the house to help get medical attention.
Some of the other things that seniors can do to help lower their risk of having a heart attack or a stroke when the clocks change are:
Eat a Healthy Diet
Seniors should be eating a diet that is mostly plants but includes some whole grains and lean proteins. Boosting their daily diet with foods rich in iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium can help seniors stay healthy even during the time change. Seniors should also cut back on their salt intake during this time.
Get Regular Exercise
Seniors may need to adjust their workout schedule when the clocks change but they should keep exercising daily. It’s recommended that seniors get at least 30 minutes of brisk activity per day.
Maintain a healthy weight by balancing calorie intake with physical activity. Losing excess weight can reduce the strain on your heart and lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to create a personalized weight management plan.
Quitting smoking is one of the most impactful steps seniors can take to protect their hearts. Smoking damages blood vessels, increases the risk of blood clots, and raises blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase the risk of a stroke.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. For most adults, this means up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and cardiomyopathy.
Keep Chronic Conditions Under Control
Seniors should work closely with their healthcare providers to manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Follow prescribed medications and treatment plans, attend regular check-ups, and monitor your health at home as directed.
Lower Stress Levels
Chronic stress can contribute to heart disease. Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or hobbies that help you relax. Maintain a healthy work-life balance and seek support from friends and family.
Get Regular Check-ups
Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your heart health. These visits can help identify and address risk factors early. Follow your provider’s recommendations for screenings and tests, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose measurements.
Know the Warning Signs
Familiarize yourself with the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden weakness or numbness, confusion, or slurred speech. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.