With this being the month of love and hearts , it's definitely appropriate for our Sandwich Generation families to remember the important news for all of us boomers and seniors that it's also American Heart Month! The CDC (Centers for Disease Control Prevention) want to encourage all of us to:
- Get up and get active by being physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. (playing active games while babysitting grandchildren is a fun way to combine the two )
- Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat. (sets a great example for those grandkids too)
- Take control of your heart health by following your doctor's prescription instructions.
Know your ABCS:
- Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day.
- Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.
- If you Smoke, get help to quit! (For the grandkids sakes as well as your own! )
There's plenty more useful information at their site – just click here to read the rest.
And even if you or your senior parent are already dealing with heart disease, these are still important tips to follow. Check out this article at The CareGiver Partnership, Tips for Managing Incontinence Related to Heart Disease, by Dianna Malkowski – Physician Assistant and Nutritionist.
Corinne Ruiz from The Bakersfield Voice has a terrific challenge for all of us – "Imagine if each person who made a New Year’s resolution knew how to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Or if, instead of roses, 198 million AEDs were deployed in schools, churches, shopping malls and other public gathering places across the country." Smart ideas, aren't they? It definitely ain't easy with all the other Sandwich Generation issues of life that we have going on, but certainly especially useful for us as we are caregiving. I am happy to say, I have had CPR training, including the use of the AED. How about you?
Also – something important that I personally discovered recently – if your elderly parent is showing symptoms of high blood pressure, shortness of breath, confusion, or even odd heart beats, be sure to get them checked out at the doctor's right away. Along with any and all other tests they decide to run, I would suggest you ask about a urine test for a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), as well. We learned that the symptoms of a UTI can be quite different for elderly women than younger and can occasionally include the items I listed. It can be very odd, very frustrating, and very easy to miss – even for medical personnel! It won't hurt to check, and it could save you a lot of time and worry!
And speaking of doctor visits, be sure to check out my latest guest post at EldercareABCblog – Doctor Visits With Our Senior Parents Are Beneficial to All – including in situations like these.
Definitely a heart-y helping of interesting news for all of us boomers and seniors who are caregivers – in OR out of the Sandwich Generation. Have a great day!