How Aging Parents Can Make Later in Life Planning Easy

A simple Google search about managing your aging process will yield many results that would help your children. But what about you? The savvy senior who wants to make things easier on your kids without becoming a burden. Well, here is your guide for planning your later in life wishes to make things easier for your friends and family. Later in life planning is important, but it is rarely easy for anyone.

What Aging Parents Need to Know

What is Later in Life Planning?

Later in life planning is an essential part of your Estate Plan that standardizes your later in life wishes. Often, as you age, it may become difficult for you to express what you want to happen should you fall ill. That is how many aging parents put a lot of unintentional pressure on their adult children when faced with making difficult decisions. 

Why is it Important?

Later in life planning is important because it helps alleviate the stress placed on your children or friends when making tough choices. The last stage of life can leave those closest to you burdened by grief and difficult decisions. Sometimes, family members have wildly different beliefs about what should happen or how your care should be managed. Creating a plan ahead of time eases this difficulty for everyone involved.

If you take the time now to prepare for the inevitable, you can relieve some of the hardship those closest to you may face. Not to mention, this is how you protect your assets.

Ultimate Later in Life Planning Checklist for Aging Parents

Now that you understand why later in life planning is so important, it is time to begin. Take comfort in the fact that once you have made your plan you will be free from the burden of putting difficult decisions on your family.

Prepare Your Later in Life Planning Documents

It’s a little overwhelming at first, but once you start the process you’ll realize it isn’t really that complicated. Being informed regarding what you need ahead of time can help. Simply, run through this checklist and prepare these documents:

  • Living trust
  • Living will
  • Power of attorney
  • Organ/tissue donor designation
  • Domestic partnership agreement (if applicable)

Decide Between a Will or a Trust

Trusts are occasionally misunderstood to be something only for the wealthy. However, anyone who owns at least $160,000 in property or assets should consider one. Not only do they protect you, your family and friends, and your legacy, but they also offer a degree of privacy. Additionally, when your estate is held in a Trust, your family may avoid the costly process of probate.

Wills tend to be a more straightforward business, whereas Trusts can be a little complex. An important difference between Wills and Trusts is that a Will isn’t effective until after your departure. A Trust goes into effect as soon as you create and fund it.

List Your Assets

Your list of assets can vary widely depending on what you’ve acquired during your life. Here is a brief list of possible assets:

  • Savings
  • Cash
  • Treasury bills
  • Real estate
  • Investments
  • Pensions
  • Retirement plans
  • Life insurance 
  • Artwork
  • Jewelry
  • Corporate assets

Determine Later in Life Housing

The most important thing to determine is what type of housing you anticipate needing. This is key in making decisions regarding what you need to know. For example, should you plan to stay in your home, you will need to know what kind of assistance is available. Should you anticipate needing more care, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) might be the right choice for you.

Now that you know how to make later-in-life planning easier on your children, you can relax and enjoy your retirement.

Wondering what a CCRC has to offer in your golden years? Learn about aging on your terms with your FREE Continuing Care Retirement Community Guide.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

6 Best Road Trips in the United States

Summer is a great time to take a trip and do we have some ideas for you. Road trips have long been a favorite pastime in the United States and are a great way to experience some of the more scenic locations this country has to offer. Whether you are leaving from Ohio to hit the road or flying to your pavement-bound destination, these are the best road trips to set your sights on.

Prep Before You Begin Your Road Trips

  • Plan everything beforehand. Check where you are going and make sure the route you planned is actually drivable. Be sure to check for toll roads and fuel stops with plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat on the way.
  • Inspect your car. Before a long trip, you will want to check headlights, taillights, wipers, tires, and make sure everything is working perfectly. This is less important if you are renting a car. 
  • Have an emergency kit. This includes a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, flashlight, spare headlight bulbs, screwdriver, and a first-aid kit.

Road Trip Ideas

Pacific Coast Highway, California

You might not want to drive all the way to California, but if you are in the area it might be a great idea to take the opportunity to drive up the coast. Considered one of the best drives in the United States, the trip starts in San Diego and takes you along the coast all the way up to the coastal town of Monterey. 

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

This trip is not for the faint of heart as the 50-mile journey hugs jagged cliffs and drop-offs. So, if you have a fear of heights, this might not be the road trip for you. Then, ending at your choice of Route 2 or Route 86, this Montana trip is an easy one hour to an hour and a half duration through beautiful vistas.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

At a whopping 469 miles long, this journey connects the Shenandoah National Park located in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. This drive is certainly a unique experience. With a billboard ban along the scenic road as well as a ban on commercial traffic, your driving experience will remain unobstructed. Begin your journey from either Boone or Cherokee and make your way to Blue Ridge Road to enjoy this 5-hour trip.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Since you might be in this neck of the woods with our previous entry, how about visiting this 100-mile route along Highway 12 — otherwise known as Ocean Front Highway. The Outer Banks offers an eclectic combination of seashore views with white beaches, historic towns, fishing villages, and lots for a tourist to enjoy. Your starting point is the Wright Memorial Bridge to Kitty Hawk. Then you will travel to the north on 12 to continue on your journey to Corolla.

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Let’s head west to begin this 330-mile trek along this loop from Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula via Highway 101. You can choose to either follow the loop clockwise or anti-clockwise. On this journey, you will see the stunning views of the white mountain tops of the Olympic mountain range, waterfalls, small logging towns, and one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States, Lake Crescent.

Route 66, Chicago to California

Thinking of an interesting way to get to the west coast? Well, Route 66 might be your solution. This trip from Chicago to Los Angeles measures an amazing 2,451 miles! With a history dating back to The Depression, this famous highway was used by many seeking a new life. With lots to see along the way, you will certainly have to plan your trip well to hit all the sights and tourist attractions.

Looking for some other new secrets to living a healthy lifestyle? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

7 Simply Spectacular Scenic Views Near Cincinnati

If you’re ready to get out of the house and enjoy the local scenery, Cincinnati is a great place to enjoy the scenic views. With the rolling hills and river valley vistas, you can spend a whole day taking pictures and soaking in the panoramic views.

Not currently a Cincinnati local but thinking about retiring in the Queen City? Check out What Cincinnati Has to Offer in Retirement.

Scenic Views of Cincinnati 

Bellevue Hill Park Scenic Views

Rising out of a dense neighborhood just outside the University of Cincinnati, Bellevue Hill Park offers a grand view of the entire Cincinnati basin. Additionally, you can admire the historic architecture that dapples the Cincinnati area.

Find it here:

2191 Ohio Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219

Devou Park Scenic Views

Found at the grassy hilltop in Northern Kentucky’s Park Hills, Devou Park boasts a panoramic view of the Cincinnati skyline. Featuring a wide view of Cincinnati, the Ohio River, and even some well-known landmarks in Covington, Kentucky, this park comes equipped with picnic tables, walking trails, and viewing benches. Devou is a great location for photos and sunny afternoon picnics.

Find it here:

1201 Park Dr, Covington, KY 41011

Incline Public House Scenic Views

Feeling a little peckish? Then visit the Incline Public House for a bite to eat at this Cincinnati-side destination. This hilltop getaway grants visitors a sweeping view of both downtown Cincinnati as well as the Ohio River.

Find it here:

2601 W 8th St, Cincinnati, OH 45204

The Radisson Scenic Views

Ascending from the busy riverfront of Covington, Kentucky, the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront offers a one-of-a-kind, bird’s eye view of the skyline across the river. Great for a staycation or visit the rotating top-floor restaurant for a dinner to remember.

Find it here:

668 W 5th St, Covington, KY 41011

Newport on the Levee

A bustling destination in its own right, Newport on the Levee in Newport, Kentucky features a wide-angle, riverfront view of both Cincinnati’s stadiums. Watch a movie, grab a drink, or even stop by the Newport Aquarium. Whatever you are looking to get into, Newport on the Levee has something from date nights to family days.

Find it here:

1 3rd St, Newport, KY 41071

Riverside Drive

Located in Covington’s Historic Licking Riverside district, Riverside Drive offers a bottom-up view of Cincinnati, Ohio. Featuring a lovely view of both Cincinnati and the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge that connects Covington with Cincinnati, this peaceful lookout is unlike any other in the area. 

Find it here:

Riverside Drive, Covington, KY 41011

Eden Park

Eden Park is a large area boasting walking trails, The Butterfly House, and segway tours around its gracefully rolling hills. But most of all, Eden Park’s Twin Lakes area features a hilltop view of Cincinnati and Bellevue, Kentucky.

Find it here:

950 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202

If you want other helpful tips to keep you energized as you age, check out our FREE e-book Living and Aging the Way You Want. Inside you will find helpful bits of advice on living your best life. Download your PDF by clicking the icon below.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

The Best Way to Organize Your Bedroom After Downsizing

Get the most mileage out of your space when downsizing by organizing your bedroom. Your bedroom is a great space to start organizing because it tends to collect a lot of clutter from bedstands to closets. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to downsize and organize your bedroom without losing its personal charm.

If you are looking to decorate your home after downsizing, check out this article.

Organize Your Bedroom After Downsizing

Organize Your Clothes

One of the best ways to start your new organization journey is to tackle the closet. Clothing is one of the main components of a cluttered bedroom, but here’s what you can do about it:

  • Gather all your clothes in one place.
  • Make piles of “keep” “donate” or “toss.”
  • As you go through each article of clothing, ask yourself if you really need it.
  • Once you have your small pile of keep, you can start organizing your items.

No Closet, No Problem

Not everyone has a bedroom closet, which presents its own organizational problems, but sometimes you have to make the best of your situation. A little creativity comes in handy and here are some closet alternatives:

  • Wardrobes
  • Dressers
  • Under the bed storage

Make Your Bed Multi-Purpose

Your bed is definitely one thing in your bedroom you can’t get rid of, but you can make it serve more than one purpose. As we mentioned before, you can use the underneath of your bed for storage by either getting a bed with built-in drawers or using tote bins to store personal items.

Shelving is Your Friend

If you can’t go low under your bed then go high on the walls. Shelving can be a quick and easy storage solution to help you get organized.

Final Thoughts

A common misconception about downsizing is that it’s all about getting rid of all your stuff, but that’s not true. It’s more about how you keep and organize what you have.

Looking to learn more about downsizing and decluttering your home? Download your FREE copy to Unlock the Power to Declutter: The Definitive Guide on How to Start so you can get cleaning!

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

7 Harmful Myths About Aging Debunked

There are many myths about aging and today they are getting debunked. These myths can range from innocuous to downright harmful, which is why it is important to clear the air with the truth about these 7 age-related myths.

Myths About Aging

Aging is Depressing

Contrary to what might be a popular opinion, aging is not depressing. Studies indicate that happiness follows a U-shape as we age, with our younger and later years being the happiest of our lives. Self-reported levels of happiness seem to be lowest at age 40, but the happiness line goes back up after that.

Seniors Are Grumpy

Unhappy adults grow into unhappy seniors, but the same is true of happy seniors. Age has no influence on mood or temperament and those things are solidified in a person’s personality earlier in life. To put it simply, attitude is based on a person’s personality, not their age.

Aging Leads to Loneliness

Though social isolation is certainly an issue that older demographics face, there is nothing inherently lonely about aging. Those who do become isolated are those who live alone and typically are coping with challenges to their mobility. However, those who live in a community of their peers, as in a senior living community, are significantly less likely to experience loneliness. Additionally, those with access to technologies like computers and virtual reality often feel more connected.

Older Adults Lose Their Wits 

While aging can affect some cognitive functions, the brain — like most muscles — gets stronger the more you use it. Those older adults that have access to engaging activities are not likely to experience severe cognitive changes. In particular, older adults seem to be better at experience-related problems, like settling arguments. 

Older People Are Unproductive

Though many retirees have officially left the workforce, they are far from unproductive. According to one study, 70% of persons over 55 engage in some kind of formal or informal volunteer work. Not to mention countless hours of help with childcare, which makes an enormous impact on society.

Aging Affects Creativity

There are countless artists who demonstrate that aging does not affect creativity. Just think of Bob Ross, who didn’t even start painting until his 40’s. It is actually later in life that one is able to master their creative pursuits because they have been able to put in years of experience.

Older Adults Are Unable to Adapt

This one is laughably untrue. Just think about it. Older adults are not only adept at adapting to new situations, they are actually better at it than their younger counterparts. By the time one has reached their 60’s and 70’s they have experienced innumerable changes and transitions in life, many of them more challenging than changes experienced by younger adults.

Want to learn some scientific tips and tricks about aging well? Here is your FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want. Click the icon and get your copy today!

“Swedish Death Cleaning” is the New Decluttering Trend

A Decluttering trend can come and go. They say the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes –  this article definitely isn’t about taxes. 

We promise, Swedish Death cleaning isn’t as morbid at all as it may sound, and it’s possible that this trend could lighten up an otherwise unpleasant aspect of aging. 

What is This New Decluttering Trend?

It’s true, the name “Swedish Death Cleaning” can be a little off-putting, but in all honesty, it’s kind of meant to be. Death cleaning is what it sounds like, the process of decluttering and organizing your belongings before the end of your life. However, it is an undeniably sensible way to prepare for your later-in-life care and deal with your possessions as you approach your golden years.

The idea comes from a book called, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter. Magnusson wrote the book after dealing with the deaths of her parents and husband and had to try to figure out what to do with their possessions. She writes about the Swedish idea of döstädning, which translates to “death cleaning.” The idea is to slowly begin decluttering so by the time you reach the point where you may need end-of-life care, you and your family are already ready. 

Why Swedish Death Cleaning is Great for Downsizing

As a decluttering trend, Swedish Death cleaning is perfect for senior downsizing because the end goal is the same; get rid of the stuff you don’t need. If you are looking to downsize to a smaller home, you can benefit from this cleaning trend.

Don’t Wait

Everyone starts thinking about end-of-life care at different ages. But the sooner you get started, the more time you will have for the things you enjoy.

Don’t Start with Sentimental Things

Sentimental things are the hardest to downsize. To guide you through the process of downsizing sentimental things, read this article.

It’s OK to Regift Unused Presents

We all get stuff we don’t really want. But what’s worse is we often feel compelled to keep it because it was a gift. Get out of that mindset. It’s perfectly OK to regift things if you aren’t using them.

Get Others Involved

Many hands make light work and it’s a good idea to recruit help when you are downsizing. This is especially true if you plan on gifting some of your items. The best way to ensure your unwanted possessions go to the people who want them is simply to ask. 

Looking to learn more about downsizing and decluttering your home? Download your FREE copy to Unlock the Power to Declutter: The Definitive Guide on How to Start!

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.



3 Impressively Positive Impacts of Virtual Reality on Seniors

It’s not just the young using new technologies. For years, virtual reality (VR) has been a thriving industry. Though it started as a method for video game consumption, its benefits have far exceeded that narrow purpose. In fact, VR is having some positive impacts on senior demographics.

Positive Impact of Virtual Reality on Seniors

Travel From the Comfort of Home

From national parks to international cities, VR is helping seniors go places they have never been before. Kenta Toshima, a Japanese researcher, came up with the idea of giving seniors virtual experiences. This occured while he was working in a care facility. One of Toshima’s patients mentioned to him that she wished she could visit her favorite orchard, so Toshima visited the orchard and took pictures for her. However, he realized that photos and video rarely did memories justice. He was then inspired to use a 360-degree camera to help create a wider and more accurate view of the location. From there, it was a natural jump to VR to help seniors experience a variety of places.

Kimberly Jauch, the Activities Director at Life Enriching Communities’ Twin Towers commented on her hopes for the use of technology:

“The ultimate goal is to be able to turn home videos made by families into a VR experience. One example is that I have a stepmother who lives in Florida who cannot travel due to polio disability. She wanted to come to my wedding and was very disappointed that she was incapable. My thought was – wouldn’t it have been great to set up a video camera that represented her and people could even walk up to it and say greetings as if she were there?  When the video was played back in VR format, she would feel as if she were there and being involved. For residents who would have difficulty leaving the facility, this would be a way to bring mom/dad/etc. to an important event and feel as if they were actually there. I welcome the education to be able to do this.”

Helps Seniors Feel Better About Downsizing

Moving is a huge life event, regardless of age. However, it is even more significant for seniors. One way to help seniors feel comfortable in their new housing opportunities is to provide a fully immersive VR experience. Many real estate companies and continuing care retirement communities have picked up on this and have adapted VR as part of their sales model. 

Virtual Reality Can Help with Social Isolation

Research indicates that social isolation and loneliness are worse for your health than smoking or obesity for individuals over age 50. The risk of isolation and loneliness for seniors is equivalent to smoking nearly a pack of cigarettes a day.

However, VR is changing that. According to this article, a Stanford neuroscientist stated:

“VR technology can address many of the difficult problems inherent in caring for our elders. Today, we are using VR technology to help reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness — this is making a big difference — not just for those seniors living in care centers, but also for those who are living independently. Our seniors often feel disconnected, bored, and lonely — virtual reality technology provides a powerful way to attend to this problem.”

Expanding on this idea, Twin Towers’ own Kimberly Jauch had this to say about the new technology.

“ Not only do I feel this helps with isolation issues but you are truly engaging the resident in conversations that spark memories from their past experiences, which also promotes brain health. When they visit places of familiarity, it lights them up from the inside out!

I’ve taken someone to their old village in Italy where they grew up and listened to her talk about the different streets, how they looked when she was living there and go on to memories of her mother and the places her  grandfather would take her. I’ve had some residents who were sad to let go of the experience when the session ended!” 

This occurs because VR allows seniors in care communities to virtually travel and enjoy the world they otherwise might not be able to experience. This makes them feel more connected and less isolated which reduces feelings of loneliness.


Thinking about moving to a senior living community? Learn what your decisions are with our FREE eBook, Moving to a Senior Living Community: Make Decisions Your Way.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

Your Bone Health and How to Maintain It As You Age

Your bones play a huge role in your ability to age on your terms. While it’s vital to build strong bones during childhood and adolescence, there are steps you can take in adulthood to protect your bone health for better aging.

Bone Health

Why Is It Important?

Your bones are constantly changing. New bones made and old broken down. Your body makes new bones quickly when you are young, making bones faster than they are broken down. This increases bone density and mass.

However, by age 30, most people reach their peak bone mass. After that, you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain. The development of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle, depends on the bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis. 

This is good for young people, but what can seniors do to ensure their bones stay healthy as they age?

What Affects Bone Health

There are many factors that influence bone health as you age. Some of them include:

  • Amount of calcium in the diet
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco and Alcohol use
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Race and family history

What to Do to Keep Bones Healthy?

There are a few things you can do to ensure your bones remain healthy as you age:

  • Include lots of calcium in your diet.
  • Pay attention to vitamin D because it’s needed to absorb calcium.
  • Include lots of physical activity in your daily routine.
  • Avoid excessive drinking.
  • Quit smoking.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you are concerned about your bone health, consult your doctor. They might recommend a bone density test to determine your risk.

Looking for some other new secrets to living a healthy lifestyle? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

Smart Retiree Savings Tips Makes You a Savvy Senior

When it comes to your finances, no one wants to be caught off guard. Yet many retirees need to consider more than just their finances. That’s why we made this retiree checklist, so if you’re already retired what should you be doing? Here are your retiree savings tips:

Retiree Savings Tips

Don’t Set It and Forget It

When selecting investment plans, it may be tempting to “set it and forget it.” However, you should always be proactive when it comes to your retirement savings and re-adjusting may be necessary at some point. There is a great debate within the world of professional investors whether a target-date fund, or set it and forget it fund, is really the best option. The industry changes frequently and you should always be assessing your risk. 

Delay Drawing Social Security

When to take Social Security is dependent on your circumstances. Should you choose, you can start taking your benefits as early as 62 or you can wait to reach the full retirement age of 70. While there is no right or wrong way to claim your benefits, delaying Social Security can really pay off.

Move Somewhere with Lower Cost of Living

Choosing where you want to live during your retirement is just as much of a financial decision as it is a lifestyle one. People may want to move to a place with a lower cost of living as a strategy for saving more money in retirement. For some, making this decision is an easy one, but for others, it is fraught with emotion. The home that works for you in early retirement, may not work for you later down the road.

One thing people often consider is moving to their favorite vacation spot, though this requires some consideration. Many vacation spots are seasonal and may not be much fun in the off-season or fit with the rest of your lifestyle.

Downsize

The big question on many retirees’ lips is; should I downsize my home? The answer depends on your circumstances. Some factors may include costs and potential health care issues. Appropriately weighing all the factors will help you decide.

  • Cost of Selling: Selling your home comes with some expenses. You may have to renovate or update your home to get the best price and don’t forget about the realtor’s commission. If you happen to make money in the sale, capital gains taxes could apply.
  • Cost of Moving: Don’t forget about the costs that come with moving, like closing costs, movers, and other unanticipated expenses.
  • Health Concerns: As you age, your health may become more of a concern. If you or your spouse have mobility issues, a two-story home may become too much of a burden or hindrance to mobility. If your home is one-story, are the doors and passageways wide enough to easily get through with walkers? 

For tips on how to downsize, check out this article

Move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Over the past few years, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), otherwise known as Life Plan Communities, have become popular retirement options. A CCRC provides a continuum of care for its residents, which creates a sense of security and peace of mind. Offering an array of living options and supportive services, residents enjoy life on their own terms without the hassle of home maintenance or multiple monthly bills to manage,

Now that you read retiree savings tips, wondering what your future has to offer in your golden years? Learn about aging on your terms with your FREE Moving to a Senior Living Community: Make Decisions Your Way

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

Heart Health Myths Busted and How to Load a Better Plate

There are a lot of myths out there about your heart health and heart disease. We are here today to clear up some confusion. Not only is it essential to know the facts and the fiction of heart disease, but you also need to know what to put on your plate for cardiovascular wellness. Here, you will get the best of both worlds.

Heart Health Myths

If I Had High Blood Pressure or High Cholesterol, I’d know it.

No, unfortunately, you wouldn’t unless you received a blood pressure test. That’s the only sure way to determine hypertension (high blood pressure) or high cholesterol. The symptoms and risk factors are commonly silent. A person can be in shape and thin but still have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Heart Disease Looks the Same in Men and Women

Not true, we’re afraid. Heart disease affects the sexes very differently. According to one study published in Circulation, 43% of women felt no chest pain before a heart attack and were more likely to experience fatigue and sleep disturbances instead. Although men tend to have more “classic” symptoms, they are less prevalent in women. 

Young Women Aren’t at Risk for Heart Disease

Our research determined that this too is a myth. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. It’s not just a concern for women in their 60’s and 70’s but a problem for the young as well. As the risk factors that contribute to heart disease increase at younger ages, so too does the risk of heart disease. The factors include:

  • Type Two Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension

Exercise and Activity is Bad For You If You Have a Heart Condition

As you may have guessed, this is not only a myth but a particularly detrimental one. After a heart attack, most people are encouraged to get right into rehabilitation and an exercise routine, usually with a coach. There are very few people who would be restricted significantly from exercise.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Aspirin are Good For Heart Health

For the most part, this one is true. However, there are some caveats to their benefits. Common aspirin recommendations for heart attack prevention occur at age 50 for men and 65 for women, if there are no other complications. That being said, aspirin can exacerbate stomach issues and some allergies.

Omega 3 fatty acids are especially beneficial to people who already suffer from cardiovascular issues and are trying to prevent another from occurring. However, taking a higher than the recommended daily dosage can lead to excessive bleeding.

How to Load Your Plate for Heart Health

The obvious answer is “with heart-healthy foods.” Here is a list of foods to add to your daily diet to promote heart health:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Berries
  • Avocados
  • Fatty fish
  • Walnuts
  • Beans
  • Dark chocolate
  • Tomatoes
  • Almonds
  • Seeds
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Edamame
  • Green tea

Looking for some other new secrets to living a healthy lifestyle? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.