The Allendale Community Raises Awareness for American Heart Month in February
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, January 04, 2013, 01:30 AM EST
Senior Campus Advocates Healthy Lifestyle Through Proper Diet, Exercise
February is American Heart Month, and not just because of Valentine’s Day. It’s the time to recognize the strides being made to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. The Allendale Community for Mature Living, a leading provider of continuing care retirement living, is raising awareness by encouraging seniors to be heart healthy through proper diet and regular exercise.
The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year about 610,000 Americans have a new heart attack and an estimated 325,000 have a recurrent attack. Many first-ever heart attacks or strokes are fatal or disabling, so prevention is critical.
Heart disease is the leading killer among both men and women aged 50 and over. To improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, health professionals at Allendale recommend regular check-ups with a personal physician to monitor glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
“Although these seem quite simple, you’d be surprised by the number of people who fail to make an annual physical exam appointment and, as a result, are at risk for stroke, heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure or diabetes,” said Dr. Stephen Sherer, medical director for The Allendale Community, and a board-certified cardiologist and internist.
According to the CDC, making the following choices can also help reduce the risks:
• Follow your doctor’s instructions and stay on your medications.
• Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
• Take a brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
• Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
An in-depth interactive Heart Attack Risk Assessment survey can be found online at www.heart.org. The tool is designed to help assess the risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease in the next 10 years.
Regular physical activity is essential to healthy aging. It can reduce the risk for heart disease, as well as lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. The CDC claims that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people. Even taking up activities such as gardening, dancing, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator will provide positive health benefits. Seniors should check with their doctor before they start any exercise program.
According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults who are inactive lose ground in four areas that are important for staying healthy and independent: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Exercise and physical activity helps to maintain or at least partially restore those four areas. For more information visit nihseniorhealth.gov.
“There’s a lot that seniors can do to stay heart healthy,” said Jolanta Giancarlo, vice president of The Allendale Community. “And it’s part of our mission to educate people about the importance of making smart lifestyle choices. It’s never too late to start.”
Developed in stages beginning in 1967, The Allendale Community for Mature Living pioneered modern-day eldercare. Today, the continuing care senior campus remains physician-owned and operated, housing four full-service residences. In addition to The Atrium, where residents can utilize long-term care insurance and veteran’s benefits as partial or full payment for the monthly rental fee, The Allendale Community includes Carlton Court, a memory-care neighborhood; The Allendale Nursing Home, a Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility; and The Rehabilitation Center at The Allendale Community, which provides subacute services to people of all ages who have suffered an illness or injury.
Located in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Allendale, N.J., just off Route 17 South, the Community also offers a Respite Short-Term Stay Program as well as the Senior Social Club, an adult day program. For more information about The Allendale Community for Mature Living, call (201) 825-0660 or visit www.allendalecommunity.com.