Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Don’t Underestimate Your Risk of Heart Disease

Female doctor with the stethoscope holding heart

Too often women assume heart disease isn’t something they need to worry about. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death women in the U.S., claiming nearly 290,000 lives each year. So what can you do to protect yourself? Manage your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, quit smoking and eat a healthy diet low in saturate fats. For more tips for protecting your heart health, read Roper St. Francis’ article “A Woman’s Guide to Beating Heart Disease.

Check out our February Newsletter!


Female doctor with the stethoscope holding heart


Our February newsletter has great information on heart disease, local events in Charleston this month, a Valentine gift guide and more! Read our newsletter here.

Upcoming Events for Seniors in the Lowcountry

Doctor measuring blood pressure of a senior male patient

Doctor measuring blood pressure of a senior male patient

The Lowcountry Senior Center’s mission is to empower older adults ages 50+ “for personal independence, healthy aging, social connection, and life-long learning in the Lowcountry.” If you are a senior or caregiver in the Charleston area, the center is a great resource for healthy living and aging. They offer classes, workshops, informational sessions and a chance to socialize and connect with others.

A couple of upcoming events for seniors include the Healthy Aging Fair on Wed October 21 from 9 am-1 pm hosted by the Lowcountry Senior Center and Roper St. Francis Advantage. This event is free and open to the public and offers free health screenings, including blood pressure, glucose, balance assessments, memory testing, and weight screenings as well as a flu shot. A six-week Living Well workshop beginning on Thursday, October29th addresses the specific needs of those living with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, depression, pain, heart, breathing or back problems.

If you are a family caregiver, the Powerful Tools for Caregivers workshop will help guide you through the challenges of being a caregiver. You will learn about resources available to family caregivers and meet other individuals going through the same experiences as you.

To keep up-to-date with the Lowcountry Senior Center’s events, sign up for their newsletter or visit their website at



Why Women Don’t Know They Are Having a Heart Attack

middle aged woman having heart attack

When you picture someone having a heart attack, is the victim you’re imagining male or female? Most people associate heart disease and heart attacks with men, but, according to the American Heart Association, it is the #1 killer of women.

So why is there such a disconnect between the perception of heart disease and reality? There are several factors at play. Women are often the caregivers in families, and as such they may put their health and any nagging physical symptoms on hold. Another problem is the symptoms themselves—a heart attack for a woman can feel very different than for a man. While women are still likely to feel “squeezing” or pressure in their chests, it is easy to mistake their upper abdominal pain as heartburn. So what should a woman be on the lookout for? The American Heart Association lists these as the common symptoms of heart attack for women:

  1. Pressure or squeezing in the chest that comes and goes or last more than a few minutes
  2. Pain or discomfort in the arms, back, jaw, neck or stomach
  3. Shortness of breath, lightheadedness or cold sweats
  4. Nausea/vomiting

Leading a heart-healthy life is the best way to prevent heart disease. Quit smoking, make exercise or physical activity a daily part of your life, incorporate healthy substitutions like oatmeal instead of high sugar cereal and ground turkey instead of beef into your meal plan and amp up your intake of fruits and vegetables. Your heart will thank you!

Aiming High: 1 Million Fewer Heart Attacks and Strokes

Senior man portrait heart attack

In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services launched the Million HeartsTM initiative with the aim of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease kills one in three Americans, and the main risk factors for the disease—smoking, being overweight, high blood pressure and cholesterol—are within a person’s control. By educating people about ways to reduce their risk and providing targeted health care for those in the high risk category, Million HeartsTM is working towards reducing the burden cardiovascular disease has on individuals and the health care system.

A healthy diet is key to managing your blood pressure. Reducing your intake of sodium and saturated and trans fats while increasing the amount of fiber and whole grains you eat can go a long way towards preventing heart disease. Preparing meals at home let’s you control the ingredients and ultimately gives you a better handle on your health. Visit the Million HeartsTM Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center for recipe ideas and tips on how to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Being proactive about your health and keeping your cholesterol, blood pressure and weight in check are important steps in the fight against cardiovascular disease!

For more information about the initiative, visit Million HeartsTM

For more information about cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, visit the CDC’s Heart Disease Home Page.

Cases of Diabetes on the Rise

The number of people with prediabetes and diabetes is on the rise. It is striking people at younger ages and is closely linked to obesity. Adopting a healthy lifestyle including exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods, and losing weight can greatly reduce your chances of getting diabetes. Complications from the disease can be serious and include heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney failure, limb amputation and early death. For more information on the diabetes epidemic, read’s article   “U.S. Diabetes Cases Jump to 29 Million: CDC.”

Did You Know?


May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Here are some surprising facts about strokes:

  • Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer does every year. Learn more at
  • Stroke and heart disease account for one in four deaths among Hispanic men and one in three deaths among Hispanic women. Learn more at
  •  Stroke affects people of all ages. Get prevention tips and learn how to recognize warning signs at
  • High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke. Yet nearly 60 million people in the U.S. have high blood pressure and almost a third don’t know they have it! Learn tips for controlling this risk factor at
  •  425,000 women suffer from a stroke each year—55,000 more than men. Learn more at



May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

senior yoga

Home Care Plus is supporting the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During the month of May, we challenge all adults to get 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes things like walking fast, dancing, swimming, and raking leaves.
  • Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights and using exercises bands – at least 2 days a week.

Physical activity is for everyone. No matter what shape you are in, you can find activities that work for you. Together, we can rise to the challenge and get more active during the month of May!

February Newsletter: Your Heart Health!

heart hands

How “heart smart” are you? Check out our February newsletter to find out your risk for heart disease, a recipe for heart healthy salmon, recommended reading, tips on battling dry skin and much more!

Chronic Illness and Aging

Many people assume that chronic health problems are an inevitable part of aging. While it is true your likelihood of suffering from many diseases and health conditions does increase as you age, it is not necessarily a given. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “older adults who practice healthy behaviors, take advantage of clinical preventive services, and continue to engage with family and friends are more likely to remain healthy, live independently, and incur fewer health-related costs.”

Over 70% of older Americans are living with multiple chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. These persistent diseases can take their toll on a person in many ways, including a loss of independence, depression, lower quality of life, hospitalization, and a higher mortality rate. The financial cost of chronic conditions to individuals and the health care system each year is enormous. According to the National Council on Aging, over 90% of Medicare expenses are related to individuals dealing with chronic conditions. The good news is that there are proven ways to help aging Americans take charge of their health and avoid chronic disease. In an effort to help connect programs designed to help older Americans make healthier lifestyle choices to seniors in need, the National Council on Aging is partnering with the U.S. Administration on Community Living. The goal of the agreement is to make sure that the individuals suffering from chronic health conditions have access to the information and programs they need to manage and control their diseases.

The CDC is also working hard to promote the health of older Americans. Key areas of focus include encouraging seniors to utilize clinical preventative services such as immunizations and cancer screenings, helping older Americans adopt healthier lifestyles by incorporating more physical activity and smarter food choices into their daily regimen, and addressing mental health issues and cognitive impairment.

For more information, visit the National Council on Aging’s website. The CDC’s website is another great resource for information on chronic disease prevention and management.