An older woman and man sit in the grass outdoors, legs outstretched, reaching their toes


At Elderplan/HomeFirst, your health and well-being are our top priorities. That’s why we’d like to encourage you to think about what you can do to make your heart healthier. Small daily steps can lead to significant changes in your health and life. A healthier heart allows you to enjoy time with family and friends, travel, participate in your favorite activities, and much more. 

To improve your heart health, it’s helpful to understand what can happen to your heart as you get older. It’s also important to recognize the symptoms of heart disease and know what factors increase your risk of developing it. 

What is heart disease?

Although several conditions can affect the heart, the most common is coronary artery disease. This is a buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. The plaque makes the opening in the arteries narrower, which can lead to a blockage that causes a heart attack. Coronary artery disease can also weaken the heart muscle over time, resulting in heart failure. If this happens, the heart can’t pump blood as it should. Heart disease can impact your quality of life by making it difficult to do what you love. It is also the leading cause of death in the United States. That’s why it’s essential to lower your risk of this disease as much as possible.

What are the risk factors of heart disease?

Understanding risks and taking steps to manage them is a start to helping keep the heart healthy.

The top three risk factors of heart disease are:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking

Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive alcohol use

How can I help lower their risk of heart disease?

  • Help make healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating better, exercising, or quitting smoking.
  • Speak to their doctor about medication to treat conditions that increase the risk of heart diseases, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat.
  • Inquire about surgical procedures, which may help restore blood flow to the heart.

Always speak to their doctor first before making any decisions.

At Elderplan, we value the health and wellness of our members. Knowing the basics about specific health conditions may help you be more aware of the risk factors to look for.

If you are an Elderplan Member and need help to manage diabetes, contact Member Services; you may benefit from the Elderplan/HomeFirst Diabetes Management Program. 

If you are not a Member, please explore our health plan options to see if there is a plan that may suit your needs.

Additional Resources

Healthy Heart

Learn how to take preventative measures to lower your risk of developing heart disease, including coronary heart disease.

All Resources