Published on November 24, 2014

How to prevent heart disease in the elderly

Mercy LIFE helps seniors maintain a healthy diet

heart healthDo you want to talk to mom or dad about taking care of their heart? There are lots of ways you can educate a loved one about heart health, says Mercy LIFE nurse practitioner David Agosto Correa, CRNP, FNP-BC.

Remember, living healthier doesn’t mean older adults have to drastically alter their diet. Instead, there are small, simple changes an older adult can make every day to keep their heart healthy.

“When you’re making rice, switch over to brown rice or wild rice,” Agosto says. “If you’ve been eating white bread, switch over to whole grain or wheat bread. Try to also substitute meat with fish twice a week and eat vegetables daily.” It’s never too late for seniors to reap the heart benefits of quitting smoking. “I encourage all smokers to try to eliminate at least one cigarette a day,” says Agosto. “Eventually, they’ve cut down from two boxes a week to one box. It makes the idea of quitting for good more realistic.”

As for exercise, Agosto says many seniors tell him they’re afraid they might fall or get hurt. “My suggestion is simply to grab two cans of beans or soup and sit in your chair. Slowly lift both cans over your head 10 times,” he advises. “Exercise doesn’t have to be running or walking to make a difference.”

HEALTHY CHANGES See how Mercy LIFE can help older adults live better. Visit or call 215.339.4747