As we age, there are many changes to our bodies, minds and overall physical health that require some attention. It becomes more important to understand how to keep our bodies safe, how to recognize signs of trouble and how to manage our changing level of physical abilities. Overall, adults in the United States are living longer, which allows more time for many diseases and conditions to take hold. One of the most common concerns for older adults is heart health.
Adults over the age of 65 are the highest risk group for heart disease and other cardiovascular concerns. The term “heart disease” includes a variety of problems that affect your heart. While there are many well-known risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, drinking alcohol to excess and smoking, there are some additional health concerns that increase risk that may be lesser known. For example, diabetes and heart disease often go hand in hand. In fact, learning how the two relate, and how to protect your health, can create a happier, healthier future.
Does Diabetes Cause Heart Disease?
There are a number of other health conditions that can increase your risk for heart disease. These include:
- High blood pressure. This condition increases the force of the blood traveling through the arteries and can damage the artery walls.
- High cholesterol. High triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol is believed to contribute to the hardening of the arteries.
- Diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control heart function. People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes.
Type two diabetes is an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses sugar, also known as glucose, as a fuel. This condition results in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream. Eventually, high blood sugar levels can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.
For seniors with diabetes, their hearts are working harder than usual and damage occurs in the blood vessels. Most seniors with type two diabetes also have high blood pressure. Together, these conditions create an extreme strain on the heart, which boosts the chance of experiencing serious issues, such as stroke and heart disease.
However, there is good news! It is possible to lower the risk for heart disease and to improve overall heart health by making healthy lifestyle choices; smart heart choices can also help to manage diabetes!
Healthy Heart Tips
For many older Americans, moving into a senior living community helps them to manage their health and provides options for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At communities like Greenfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, residents have access to daily fitness activities, nutritious on-site dining and social activities.
Staying active and remaining social are all part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Other parts of a heart-healthy lifestyle that can reduce your risk of heart disease and help manage diabetes include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Keeping physically active
- Drinking more water
- Managing stress
- Quitting smoking
Your medical care team can set goals and provide guidance for changes that can benefit your overall health. These guidelines are general, and all changes to a diet or exercise plan should be approved by a medical professional.
Living Your Best Life
Greenfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center is a community committed to helping each resident enjoy the unique experience they deserve. The community offers multiple levels of care and support to help residents at any phase of need. Greenfield provides the security of helping residents with activities of daily living, while also focusing on engagement and enjoyment for each resident, each day. Residents experience a variety of options for their daily schedule, all while enjoying the support of team members, the friendship of neighbors and the opportunity to try and learn new things.
Interested in learning more about Greenfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center? Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a tour!