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Tailoring Your Caregiver Journey to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Caregiver in Mankato MN

As a family caregiver, helping to protect your loved ones from a heart attack is likely one of your primary goals. You have probably heard a considerable amount of advice about what you can do to Caregiver-Mankato-MNkeep your parents healthier, but you might not realize just how important their life choices factor into preventing heart attacks. Many people believe that genetics or their earlier lives are what matter most when it comes to their heart attack risk, but the reality is that basic lifestyle choices and things that you might already do maintain a healthy lifestyle can actually reduce heart attack risk by 80 percent.

A Swedish study explored heart attack risk by following nearly 21,000 healthy men over the course of 11 years. Throughout the study period the researchers closely followed lifestyle choices including smoking, regular diet, consumption of alcohol, and amount of belly fat. At the end of the research period, the findings were quite startling. For example, men who followed a list of healthy behaviors had 86 percent lower risk of suffering a heart attack than those who did not follow those behaviors.

The healthy behaviors followed by the men with the lowest risk of heart attack at the end of the study period included:

• Regularly eating a healthy diet that contained dairy products, fruits, nuts, beans, vegetables, fish, and whole grains

• No use of tobacco

• Moderate alcohol consumption involving an average of one alcoholic beverage a day

• Bicycling or walking for at least 40 minutes a day and then doing an additional hour of exercise each week

• Belly fat indication of a waistline that measures less than 37.4 inches


The study also indicated that just adopting a few of the healthy behaviors made improvements in their heart attack risks. Just adopting a healthy diet alone can cut your aging loved ones’ heart attack risk by up to 35 percent.

What this means for your caregiver journey is that you can tailor your efforts toward improving your parents’ heart attack risks without making sudden and overwhelming changes. Try some of these ways to adapt your care journey to protect your parents’ hearts:

• Introduce behaviors gradually. Rather than suddenly saying that your parents are going to do all five behaviors on a daily basis, pick one or two and make them a part of your routine. When they start feeling comfortable, introduce another one until you have made them all a part of your care journey.

• Make eating fun. Eating a healthy diet can seem overwhelming and even unpleasant, so make it a point to explore new flavors and ingredients that will keep your parents’ minds engaged and turn eating healthy into something that is enjoyable and exciting.

• Keep learning. Enjoying a healthy lifestyle can be difficult to get into at first, but continuously learning, exploring, and experimenting will stimulate your parents’ minds while keeping their bodies healthier. Research different ways to exercise, stay entertained, and enjoy delicious meals that support their heart health and keep them engaged.


If you or someone you know needs caregiver services in Mankato, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.


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Lori Seeman

Lori Seemann has a background in nurse management, hands-on critical care and business management. Her clinical expertise and knowledge of information systems had been instrumental in ensuring operational consistency in all branch offices. She led efforts that resulted in implementation of a new home care computer system that is utilized for staffing, scheduling, clinical records and billing. Lori continues to seek opportunities to improve caregiver productivity through nurse utilization of a unique point of care laptop computer system.