Tips for Preventing Blood Clots in Seniors

Simple Ways to Prevent Blood Clots

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Blood clots occur when many blood cells stick together in one big clump, which can block blood flow and cause potentially life-threatening health issues. Aging adults are naturally at high risk for developing clots in their arteries or veins, and these risks increase when living a more sedentary lifestyle. Treating blood clots may require surgery, but it’s possible to prevent them before surgery is necessary. Encourage your senior loved one to take the following actions to prevent blood clots from forming.


Stay Hydrated

Dehydration causes blood to thicken, which increases the risk of blood clots. Therefore, regularly drinking water can protect against clotting. Staying hydrated is especially important when flying on airplanes because the high altitude also causes blood to thicken quickly. 


Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess fat keeps blood from moving easily in the veins, which is why obesity is a huge risk factor for blood clots. Therefore, doctors recommend obese seniors lose weight to prevent blood clots and other serious health problems. 

Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care Columbia seniors can trust and rely on. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care.


Exercise Often

Seniors who sit around and don’t move too much throughout the day most likely have poor circulation. The inactivity may lead to the coagulation of thick blood particles, especially in blood vessels in the limbs. Blood clots are far more likely to happen in sedentary people, but regular exercise can greatly reduce blood clot risk. Even though many seniors aren’t very athletic, they can benefit from slow walks around the house every now and then. 

If you usually help your parent exercise but need a break now and then, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Columbia, MD, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.


Wear the Right Clothes

Tight clothing can press on the blood vessels and skin, resulting in blood clots. Tight socks and underwear are particularly notorious for constricting the blood vessels and increasing the potential for clotting. Family caregivers should encourage their senior loved ones to wear loose clothing that doesn’t restrict circulation. The one exception to this is compression stockings, which help blood circulate back into the body instead of remaining in the lower extremities. 


Don’t Stay Still

Since lack of movement is one of the biggest risk factors for blood clots, seniors who are bedridden or have limited mobility are particularly likely to get clots. Assist your loved one with gentle leg and foot movements that stimulate blood flow by raising and lowering the legs. While resting, seniors should raise their legs to approximately hip level. When the legs are raised up, there’s less stress on the cardiovascular system as it pumps blood throughout the body. 


Talk to a Doctor

To prevent blood clotting, seniors should consult their doctors about their diet and medications. Excessive consumption of vitamin K is known to cause blood clots because this nutrient plays a vital role in coagulation. Blood thinners such as warfarin might have to be taken to reverse the natural effects of vitamin K. Doctors can prescribe the ideal dosage of blood thinners to prevent common side effects, such as excessive bleeding or bruising.

An in-home caregiver can provide the help your loved one needs to avoid health issues such as blood clots and boost his or her overall wellbeing. Homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. If your loved one needs professional care, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.