The human heart is a remarkable organ. Though it may not actually be the source of affection and emotion, each of our hearts is a tiny powerhouse that keeps us going through daily life. Every day, each of our hearts beats about 100,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood through our bodies; that’s enough to fill a swimming pool in just a week! The heart may be a powerful little engine, but with great power comes great responsibility — and when heart disease strikes, we can’t afford to ignore it. February is American Heart Month, which is the perfect time of year to give our hearts some love and think about how we can take care of this fist-sized muscle that takes such good care of us.
What Is Heart Disease, and How Can it Affect Me?
You’ve probably heard that heart disease is a leading cause of death in America today. In fact, heart disease causes one in every four deaths — that’s about 655,000 Americans a year. It affects people of all genders, races, and ages: around 20 percent of deaths occur in people under 65. It’s never too early to start thinking about how heart disease can change your life. But what exactly is heart disease?
Heart disease is a general term for any condition that affects the heart. Most patients have Coronary Artery Disease, which accounts for over half of all heart disease deaths. This condition causes plaque to build up in the arteries, eventually blocking blood flow and leading to a heart attack. Between 20 and 45 percent of heart attacks are “silent,” meaning that you aren’t even aware that it happened. This isn’t as harmless as it sounds, as even a silent heart attack can do serious damage to your heart. If you aren’t even aware that it happened, you might not be able to treat the effects until much later down the road, when the consequences are already more severe.
Although heart disease is a frightening prospect, the core of American Heart Month isn’t about spreading fear. Instead, it’s about building healthy habits to ensure heart disease never has to slow you down.
What You Can Do For Your Hard-Working Heart
You and your heart make a good team, but like any good partnership, the relationship goes both ways. If you want your heart to keep you going to a ripe old age, it’s essential to work as hard for your heart as it works for you. You’ve probably already heard the most effective ways of maintaining heart health. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing your stress are all simple ways to make a massive difference to your heart. So if that’s all it takes, why is heart disease still such a problem in America?
The answer, of course, is that it’s hardly that easy. By this time of year, many of us have plunged into our New Year’s Resolutions with pep and vigor, only to decide after the first month that the pandemic is hard enough without jogging every day. Maintaining healthy routines is a constant, unending effort, and even the best intentions can quickly crumble as the months drag on.
That’s why having an in-home caregiver can be so valuable to seniors wanting to maximize their heart health. A caregiver can help keep you on track with your goals: not just during the first few optimistic months of the year, but for as long as you need.
Caregivers Help You Meet Your Heart-Healthy Goals
One central tenet of American Heart Month is the 7 Days of Self-Care. Here are some ways a caregiver can help you make this week a special one:
- #SelfcareSunday: The first step towards a healthy heart is to make a plan. A caregiver can help you prepare a self-care checklist to follow for the rest of the week.
- #MindfulMonday: Knowing where your heart currently stands is crucial. With a caregiver to take your blood pressure or drive you to doctor’s appointments, you never have to be in the dark about your health.
- #TastyTuesday: We can’t all be master chefs, and coming up with flavorful meals is a challenge. A caregiver can help with meal planning, grocery runs, and cooking duties that many seniors don’t have the time or inclination to complete.
- #WellnessWednesday: Exercise doesn’t have to be a bitter struggle. A caregiver can help motivate you to go for walks, sign up for a water aerobics course, or get outside.
- #TreatYourselfThursday: Stress is a serious contributor to heart disease, so taking a break is good for your heart as well as your brain. Having a caregiver around to take care of chores helps you relax and take it easy when you need to.
- #FollowFriday: It helps to get motivated when you know you’re not in it alone. If technology isn’t your strong suit, a caregiver can help you find inspirational heart-health role models to keep you going through the slumps.
- #SelfieSaturday: Take a selfie with your caregiver to show your support for everyone else taking the challenge!
Caregivers are also a valuable layer of defense against sudden heart issues. They can help you keep an eye out for the symptoms of a silent heart attack and make sure you get proper medical attention if needed. With a caregiver at home, you never have to worry about being caught away from a phone or loved one when disaster strikes. A caregiver on your side means you never have to let a heart condition slow you down.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.