Elder Care Tips: Controlling Sodium in a Senior with Congestive Heart Failure

Elder Care in Abington NJ

Elder Care in Abington NJIf congestive heart failure has become a part of your elder care journey with your aging parent, it is likely that you have heard the recommendation to reduce the amount of sodium that he consumes on a daily basis. Sodium increases blood pressure and causes the body to retain water, which puts extra strain and stress on the heart. Many doctors recommend a person with congestive heart failure consume fewer than 2000 milligrams of sodium each day, but it is important that you talk to his doctor to get specific recommendations for your parent.

Cutting down the amount of salt that your elderly loved one consumes can be quite a challenge. The average American is accustomed to a diet that is very salty and that contains a large amount of processed foods. Making this shift can be difficult as you encourage your parent to explore different foods and to deal with different flavors. Teaming up with a home care provider and making this an experience you are all going through together can make it far easier and less stressful.

Use these tips to help you control sodium for a senior with congestive heart failure:

• Talk about it. Massive changes that seem arbitrary can be frustrating for your elderly parent. He might resent feeling like you are trying to take over his life and take away all of his favorite foods. This can lead to him resisting the changes and even purposely consuming more foods that are high in sodium. Make sure that you take the time to explain to your loved one why it is so important that he controls his sodium intake. Giving him this information empowers him to make the decisions that are right for his own health.

• Go for different flavor enhancers. Salt is used primarily for flavor and it can be frustrating for your parent to give up foods that he enjoys eating. Make this less stressful by exploring different ways to enhance the flavor of your parent’s food. Try vinegars, herbs, and spices to add flavor, dimension, and interest without the sodium. This is a great activity for your elderly loved one to do with your elderly health care services provider as a way to stimulate his mind. Encourage them to visit ethnic food markets, farmer’s markets, and spice shops to explore all of the different flavor profiles available. Go online and find new recipes to try.

• Read labels. Get into the habit of reading the labels of every food that your parent eats. This will help you to recognize how many sources of hidden sodium that he consumes. You might think only of distinctly salty foods, but there are high levels of sodium in all kinds of foods and beverages, including many that are sweet. As you read these labels you will learn to avoid processed foods such as soups, spreads, and sauces that tend to have large amounts of salt in them.



If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Abington, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Alpine Home Care. In PA call 888-743-0068 . In NJ call (855) 410-1404.

Tom Smith, President & CEO

Tom Smith, President & CEO

President and CEO at Alpine Home Care
Tom Smith is Alpine Home Care’s President and Chief Executive Officer with over 25 years of well-rounded strategic, operations and management experience at public and private healthcare companies in the following
areas – hospice and home health care, medical devices, medical equipment, infusion therapy and behavioral
health, in addition to positions at major health systems and large acute-care Integrated Delivery Networks
Tom Smith, President & CEO