Inside the Causes of Heart Disease

Senior man holding his chest and feeling pain

February is all about the heart, from Valentine’s Day to American Heart Month! Our in-home health care providers are taking this opportunity to raise awareness of a very serious health condition for seniors — heart disease. Here is some insight into the causes of this condition, how to help keep the heart healthy, and how our senior independent home care team in NJ can help care for people with heart disease.

Heart Disease and Seniors

Heart disease is a term that covers a range of health conditions that affect the heart, like coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and cardiomyopathy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease accounts for one in every four deaths in the USA, with 610,000 people dying every year from these conditions. Both men and women are affected, and it’s the leading cause of death amongst most ethnicities in the US, especially people of African American, Hispanic, and white ethnic backgrounds.

What Are the Causes of Heart Disease?

  • Health Conditions – High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity all increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Behavioral Risks – Certain lifestyle choices can also increase your risk of heart disease, like diets high in salt, processed foods, unhealthy fats, a lack of regular physical activity, drinking significant amounts of alcohol, and using tobacco products.
  • Genetic Risks – If you have close relations who have suffered from heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, you can be at higher risk for the same conditions. The risk of heart disease also increases with age, and is slightly more common in men than women.

 How to Help Prevent Heart Disease

Fortunately, there’s a lot we can all do to help reduce our risks of heart disease, even as seniors!

  • Start Exercising – It’s never too late to start exercising and it has an amazing impact on health, both as far as the body and mind are concerned. Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult either. Your doctor can help you find something manageable, whether it’s water aerobics, walking, dancing or yoga. Aim for 30 minutes, five times a week. Here’s a tip to get started if you’re worried about overexerting yourself: buy a Fitbit!  It’s smaller than a wristwatch and can monitor your heart rate, and level of exercise instantly.
  • Improve Your Diet – A healthy diet is essential for the human body. For starters, it helps you fight disease, heal faster, keeps your muscles healthy, and your blood sugar stable. Cut down on processed food, salt, saturated fats, and red meats. Rather, replace these with healthy fats (fish, avocado, and nuts), lean meat, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have trouble managing your diet as a senior, our senior independent home care team can help you out with grocery shopping and meal preparation.
  • Get Rid of Bad Habits – It’s time to quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Seniors should stick to no more than seven drinks per week and no more than three in a day, although it is often recommended that seniors quit alcohol almost entirely. If you are worried about the effects of drinking as a senior, this article on alcoholism and the risks facing seniors is important and helpful.

In-Home Respite Care and Assistance for Seniors in New Jersey

Whether you need residential in-home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through HomeWorks. Our staff is fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience. So, please feel free to ask for formal certification and references, as well as information on home care costs.

For more information on our seniors home care services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at

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