Keeping Seniors Heart-Healthy

It’s a sobering reality that every seven minutes someone in Canada has a heart attack. An estimated 1.6 million Canadians are living with heart disease or the effects of a stroke according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Many need support from loved ones, who also report having a hard time navigating the health care system after a stroke, especially transitioning from hospital to home.

At BayBridge Senior Living communities, we take pressure off seniors and families by taking on the many roles involved in caring for someone with a health condition. Here’s how we support seniors with cardiovascular disease:

Individualized Care

  • Whether a resident receives a new diagnosis or is coping with an existing heart condition, our wellness team is on the case. “We’re in contact with medical practitioners and following up after appointments to get the latest updates,” says Paulette Kinsella, Regional Director of Wellness for BayBridge.
  • When they speak with doctors, our wellness team informs the culinary and life-enrichment teams about precautions and contraindications; this way, seniors get support in all aspects of their day. “If a resident has been told to walk the length of the hallway three times a day, we would provide someone to assist,” says Kinsella. If someone is short of breath after congestive heart failure, we would have a staff member pick them up in a wheelchair and take them to the dining room or to activities.
  • Wellness teams take care of managing medications by giving seniors the right dose at the right time, as well as monitoring progress and following up with the resident’s physician.

Heart-healthy Menus

  • BayBridge chefs always promote healthy living with dishes featuring plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
  • Culinary staff will happily accommodate dietary needs such as low sodium, low sugar or low fat. “If we’re doing chicken à la king with a cream sauce, we’d substitute a lower-fat dipping sauce or serve chicken without sauce and we’d use seasonings to add flavour,” says Gary McBlain, Director of Culinary.

Recreation & Stress

  • Seniors can choose from a variety of daily exercise and fitness activities at BayBridge communities, from Zumba to yoga to walking clubs. “We would follow directions from the care team and find ways to accommodate and support the resident in their activities,” says Erica Clarke, Regional Director of Life Enrichment. Residents who’ve had surgery might have restrictions on bending or lifting; others might not be allowed to use an elliptical trainer. The Life Enrichment Coordinator would suggest activities that follow the recovery guidelines of the resident’s doctor and physiotherapist.
  • To manage stress and support a healthy mind, we might offer mindfulness meditation, journaling or storytelling.
  • Residents can also nurture their spiritual selves at in-house Bible groups, religious services or sing-alongs.

Find out how we take care of seniors in every way at a BayBridge Senior Living community near you. 

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