As a caregiver you might know a bit about managing heart disease for your senior, but are you alert to the ways heart disease can be affecting you? Heart disease is hereditary, and you need to be as aware of what’s going on with your heart as you are about your senior’s heart. If you ignore what’s going on with your heart health, you might be creating big problems for yourself and for your senior.
Your Cholesterol Matters
Cholesterol levels are something that people groan about but they help you to see how healthy your circulatory system is. If you haven’t had your cholesterol levels checked in a while, now’s the time. Talk to your doctor about what your test results show and what you can do to improve those results. Medication is one option, but it’s not the only answer. There’s a lot you can do about cholesterol, including changing your diet and adding exercise to your routine.
Get Your Blood Pressure Checked
Your blood pressure is the other important factor in heart health. Most people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize they do, which is why doctors call hypertension a silent killer. Even if your idea of testing is to stop at the drugstore blood pressure monitor, start getting an idea what your baseline blood pressure levels are. Talk to your doctor about how you can lower your blood pressure if you do find that it’s getting up there.
What You Eat Can Help
Food is a big part of heart health, believe it or not. If you’re eating food that’s high in sodium, sugar, or other preservatives, that’s not doing your heart any good. Ideally you should be eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Where lots of people make a mistake, though, is they try to make all the changes at once. Make small changes gradually and give yourself a chance to adjust before you make more changes.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you haven’t already, it’s definitely time to talk to your doctor. It’s especially vital to talk to your doctor if you have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or other cardiovascular problems. There are options for you, you just need to know what they are.
As a caregiver, you have to take care of yourself. If you don’t, you’re not going to be able to continue being a caregiver, especially if heart disease is in play.