Perhaps, as a family caregiver, you keep an eye on what your older family member eats and whether they stay physically active all in an attempt to make certain their heart is healthy. While those steps are certainly important to heart health, there are also some numbers that you need to know to make a better determination of whether your aging relative is doing everything necessary to prevent health disease. Below are some heart health numbers that are good indicators of heart health.
Blood pressure is a measurement of how much force blood is placing on the vessels it flows through. When it is high over a long period of time, it taxes both the heart and the blood vessels. The damage done to the insides of arteries creates places where plaque can form, leading to narrowing of the arteries. Narrow arteries can eventually cause a heart attack or stroke. Blood pressure should be checked regularly. It is considered high if the top number is 130 or higher or the bottom number is 80 or higher.
Cholesterol is a substance that resembles both wax and fat. It is found in the body’s cells and is necessary for making hormones, substances needed for digestion, and vitamin D. The body makes all of the cholesterol it needs. However, it is also found in certain foods, like meat, cheese, and egg yolks. There are two kinds of cholesterol in the body. They are often referred to as “good” and “bad” cholesterol. When doctors report your aging relative’s cholesterol, they usually tell them their total cholesterol level. A normal total cholesterol level is 200 or below. High cholesterol contributes to clogged arteries.
Blood glucose, or blood sugar, is a number that can change depending on the time of day and the foods your older family member eats. Usually, when the doctor tests blood sugar level, it’s done after a period of fasting. Normal blood sugar levels are 100 mg/dL or lower. If the test is done without fasting, normal blood sugar is 140 mg/dL or lower within two hours of eating. When blood sugar is high, it can be a sign that your older family member has diabetes. Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease.
If your aging relative has higher than normal readings on any of the above numbers, senior care can help them to better manage the problem. Senior care providers can cook healthy meals that conform to the doctor’s suggestions for keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar under control. Senior care providers can also remind the older adult to take their prescription medications. And, if the older adult isn’t currently physically active, a senior care provider can help to increase the amount of time they spend moving around, such as by taking a walk or involving them in things at home.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN PEORIA, AZ, CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY (623) 748-3301.