Heart Health Month – February – came and went quicker than we would have ever imagined! We hope you saw the heart health tips and information that we placed throughout The Saybrook at Haddam during this past month. This information focused on ways to maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and weight levels, along with tips to improve physical activity and best manage medications.
These are all factors that contribute to a healthy heart – and are areas we focus on every single day throughout the year. However, it was wonderful to spend extra time highlighting why we provide so many opportunities for exercise, why our meals are so carefully planned, and why our care team gathers so much detailed information that contributes to residents’ wellness.
Heart health is often affected by the different medicines and supplements we take. The wellness team at The Saybrook at Haddam maintains very individualized care plans for each resident, including details about prescriptions, vitamins, and other over-the-counter medications. This information helps us understand each resident’s needs, and helps us determine if any foods or medicine/supplement combination should be avoided to prevent further possible medical problems. This information is also vital for us to have on-hand when discussing residents’ needs with physicians, pharmacists and family members.
Residents with heart conditions most likely are taking more than one medicine each day — each prescribed to treat a different symptom or problem, and each with its own set of separate instructions. Some residents are able to manage daily medication on their own using aids such as pill boxes and electronic reminders on their smartphones or other devices. These are wonderful tools that help residents maintain a level of independence. Other residents feel they need more hands-on support with medication monitoring, which we are happy and ready to provide for them.
We turned to The American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign for many of the tips we shared on heart medicine management and other areas of heart health. Residents and families tell us this site is a useful and educational tool for them – and we encourage them to continue to follow it for updated information and ideas.
The AHA also created a website called Heart360® that helps individuals track their blood pressure, physical activity, cholesterol, glucose, weight and medications. This site uses Microsoft® HealthVault™ to safely and securely store health details so users can accurately see their risk levels and understand areas they should focus on for improving heart health. People are becoming more comfortable using these types of online monitoring tools – which can help us easily and effectively stay on top of our own health status with just the click of a few buttons.
Heart health is so important to everyone at The Saybrook at Haddam – and should be to anyone caring for the seniors in their lives. We hope the extra effort we took this month motivated you to keep those seniors exercising, eating well, and tracking vital information that will keep their hearts in the best shape possible.
For more details on the wellness program at The Saybrook at Haddam or to schedule a private tour of our community, please click here to contact David Downey or call 860-345-3779.