Take these 7 steps to ensure your parents live a long, healthy and cardiac-disease-free life

Updated on:14 December 2019, 11:18am IST
If you are parenting your parent and taking care of their health needs, this read is for you. Here is what doctors recommend you should do to ensure that live a healthy and quality life.
Dr KK Aggarwal
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Give your elderly parents the gift of a quality life by following these steps. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

There comes a time in every person’s life where they have to take charge of their elderly parents’ health. From ensuring that they’re taking their medicines on time to taking them to the doctor–this is a tumultuous time in every child’s life.

But while you’re caring for them, it’s also important for you to preempt their health needs. Here are seven important things to keep in mind to ensure to ensure that your parents enjoy good health:

1. Get them vaccinated
Not just children, adults also need to be vaccinated. Make sure your parents are vaccinated for pneumonia, flu, and herpes zoster. Annual flu vaccinations can prevent heart attacks and paralysis.

2. Tame age-related cognitive decay
You must take care of age-related cognitive memory impairment by regularly giving them Vitamin B12. Any memory impairment will accelerate underlying hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease

age related cognitive delay
Increase your parents’ B12 intake to ensure healthy brain function. mage courtesy: Shutterstock

Also read: 6 lifestyle changes you absolutely must make your ageing parents adopt

3. Pay special attention to their bone health
After the age of 50, most people are likely to develop osteoporosis and susceptibility to frequent falls. Hip fractures have a high mortality rate. So ensure you give them regular vitamin D and calcium supplements (after consulting with their doctor) to also reduce their risk of heart attack.

4. Get a health insurance in place for them
You must get them covered for any age-related heart and stroke illnesses. Continue their health insurance till their last breath and make sure that all terminal illnesses are covered. Remember most cardiac treatments come at a high cost. Knowing that they are covered by insurance will also give them peace of mind and keep them stress free.

5. Check their kidney function
After the age of 50 most people will start declining in their kidney function by one percent every year. You must make sure that the medicines they are taking are adjusted to the kidney function. If they have a kidney problem, underlying heart disease must be ruled out

kidney disease
A kidney disease in your elderly parents could also signify heart issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Learn CPR
Sudden death is common after the age of 50. So, you must train at least one person in the family to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When done in a timely fashion, it can save a person with cardiac arrest within 10 minutes.

Also read: Hiring a caregiver for your parents? Ask these 7 things before making a decision

7. Remember the formulas of the 80
Help them live a healthy life upto the age of 80, without any heart disease risk, by keeping their lower BP, fasting sugar, heart rate, bad LDL cholesterol. and abdominal girth lower than 80.

To maintain that you must make them walk 80 minutes a day, walk at a speed of 80 steps a minute, brisk walk 80 minutes a week, drink less than 80 ml of liquid at one time, do 80 cycles of pranayama in a day, and sit in the sun 80 times in a year.

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Dr KK Aggarwal Dr KK Aggarwal

A senior consultant physician and cardiologist, Dr KK Aggarwal is also a Padam Shri awardee and the president of Heart Care Foundation of India. He is also a TEDx speaker and has the held the post of senior national vice president of the Indian Medical Association.