We only have one, so it’s important to take care of it! Thankfully there are a number of steps we can all take to keep our heart healthy: staying physically active, making wise dietary choices, and staying up to date with regular checkups. This is especially vital for older adults as heart disease is the leading cause of death in seniors.
There are additional preventative measures that can be taken to boost heart health – and, they’re even covered by Medicare:
Diabetes tests and care. The risk of heart disease for those with diabetes is heightened, due to the damage that can be caused to nerves and blood vessels from high blood glucose levels, and that risk increases over time. Warning signs of diabetes include blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, and an increase in appetite, thirst, urination, and lethargy. Seniors experiencing any or all of these symptoms should talk with the physician about a diabetes screening, which is fully covered by Medicare.
Cardiovascular screenings. Medicare provides coverage for an annual cardiovascular heart disease check, which includes cholesterol and blood pressure checks. Even if heart disease is not suspected, all seniors should receive this yearly test to catch any potential red flags before they become a problem, allowing the doctor to recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to prevent heart disease.
Chronic disease management programs. Offered through the local Area Agency on Aging, older adults diagnosed with a chronic condition (which impact as many as 80% of seniors) can attend either in-person or online workshops aimed at improving chronic disease self-management. Since chronic conditions are often linked to a higher risk of heart disease, these programs are crucial to ensuring optimal health – and, are covered by Medicare.
Lifestyle therapy. Maintaining a healthy diet is key to heart health, and Medicare’s nutrition therapy program helps seniors determine the best food choices. In addition, Medicare covers the cost for up to eight smoking cessation sessions to empower seniors with the tools needed to kick a nicotine addiction.
For more heart-healthy tips and resources, call on THE MEDICAL TEAM. We can help seniors enhance their health in a variety of ways, with in-home care services available throughout New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro DC area. Contact us any time to learn more!