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What Causes Strokes in the Elderly?

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Various lifestyle and medical factors can increase a senior’s stroke risk. However, your elderly loved one can take steps to manage medical conditions and lifestyle choices to reduce his or her risk. Phoenix stroke care experts discuss some of the common causes of strokes and how your loved one can prevent them.

Smoking

Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke is a leading cause of strokes. According to the National Stroke Association, smokers have twice the risk of experiencing a stroke than nonsmokers. When your loved one stops smoking, his or her stroke risk significantly decreases.

Arterial Fibrillation

Seniors with arterial fibrillation are 5 times as likely to have a stroke as those with normal heartbeats. Arterial fibrillation causes the heart to beat out of sync and often rapidly. This irregular rhythm allows blood to pool in the heart, which can form clots. The clots leave the heart and head to the brain, where they become stuck in the smaller blood vessels, causing a stroke. If your loved one has arterial fibrillation, he or she can work closely with a physician to manage the condition and reduce his or her stroke risk.

A Sedentary Lifestyle

Being overweight and physically inactive can increase your loved one’s risk of experiencing a stroke. To help reduce your loved one’s stroke risk, encourage him or her to maintain a healthy weight, ideally by participating in more physical activity. If your loved one needs help maintaining a regular exercise regimen, consider hiring a part-time or live-in caregiver in Phoenix.

Hormones

Senior women who use postmenopausal hormone therapy may have a higher risk of stroke than other women. If your loved one smokes or has high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, talk with her doctor about alternatives to hormone therapy.

Various Existing Health Conditions

Seniors with conditions like cardiovascular disease, chronic heart failure, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, and diabetes are at an increased risk of having a stroke. Though many of these health conditions are chronic, working with a doctor to get them under control can minimize the amount of damage they cause to your loved one’s body and reduce his or her stroke risk.

If your loved one needs help managing his or her health to prevent a stroke, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our experienced caregivers can assist with exercise, medication reminders, meal prep, and many other tasks that can help your loved one live a longer and healthier life. For more information on senior home care Phoenix seniors can count on, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 602.388.1085 today to schedule a free consultation.