Why Should Your Aging Parent Control Their Sodium When Dealing with Congestive Heart Failure?

Senior Care in Gretna NE

Senior Care in Gretna NEIf your elderly parent has recently become one of the nearly 6 million adults throughout the United States who suffer with congestive heart failure, you have likely heard many recommendations for how to help them manage their condition. One that you may have heard frequently is that they should reduce their sodium intake. This may seem minor, but it is actually one of the most important efforts that you can make to help your aging parent live a healthier lifestyle. Understanding the importance of this reduction can help your parent to dedicate themselves more effectively to complying with this control.

Congestive heart failure is not about the heart stopping suddenly or being in imminent danger of stopping. Instead, it is about the heart muscle weakening to the point that it is no longer capable of pumping blood throughout the body as efficiently as it needs to. Sodium causes the body to hold onto water. This puts extra stress on your parent’s heart and blood vessels as it works to handle this extra fluid. One of the first things to keep in mind is that when your parent is given this recommendation, the doctor will tell your loved one to control their sodium intake, not their salt. You must understand the amount of sodium that is in salt and also how to read nutritional label to help them meet these guidelines.

One teaspoon of salt contains approximately 2,300 milligrams of sodium. The average American needs to aim to consume no more than approximately 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. At this level your parent is getting the right amount of sodium to support the body’s functions without it being excessive.

It is extremely important to realize that controlling sodium is about more than just not reaching for the saltshaker when your parent is cooking or eating. They must also keep in mind the sodium that exists in all of the other food that they eat, including cheeses, condiments, preserved vegetables such as pickles, and convenience foods such as soup.

If your parent has gotten the recommendation of reducing their salt intake as they deal with congestive heart failure, it may be the perfect time for you to hire senior care for them. Cutting down on the amount of sodium that they contain can be a major change for your parent, and they may struggle with making this a part of their routine. A senior home care services provider can be a valuable resource for support and assistance when it comes to making such a serious change. This can include going to the grocery store with your aging loved one to help them make good food choices, assisting with meal and snack preparation, and even doing research with them to find low-sodium recipes for their favorite foods. This can give them confidence and reassurance that they are able to handle this life change in the proper way.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

Join Our Growing Family! Become A Franchise Partner

Learn More