Fresh Conversations, a monthly program on health topics presented at area senior centers, will talk about “Stroke Prevention” at April programs in West Union, Elgin and Oelwein.

Every 40 seconds someone in America suffers from a stroke according to the American Heart Association. Sobering as that news is, there are lifestyle habits that can lower your chances of being in the stroke group.

Join a local Fresh Conversations program to learn how to take simple steps to reduce your risk. April’s Fresh Conversations program will be held at the following locations in Fayette County:

• West Union Senior Center (107 E. Armour Street) on Wednesday, April 18 at 11:15 a.m. Local facilitator, Melody Patrick from Good Samaritan Society will lead the conversation. If you are interested in a meal, contact the meal site at 563.422.6100 by 11:00 a.m. the day before you attend.

• Elgin -Veterans Memorial Community Building (310 Mill Avenue) on Thursday, April 19 at 10:45 a.m. Local facilitator, Melody Patrick from Good Samaritan Society will lead the conversation. If you are interested in a meal, contact the meal site at 563.426.5365 by 11:00 a.m. the day before you attend.

• Oelwein - Oelwein Senior Dining Center (25 West Charles) on Wednesday, April 25 at 10:45 a.m. Local facilitator, Brenda Fuller from NEI3A will lead the conversation. If you are interested in a meal, contact the meal site at 319.283.5180 by 11:00 a.m. the day before you attend. 

Stroke-lowering lifestyle habits focus on maintaining good blood pressure (under 120/80 mmHg). Managing stress, moving more, and eating whole foods naturally low in sodium and high in potassium (from apricots to squash) will be explored. 

Participants will learn which foods are rich sources of potassium, known to help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. We’ll also explore spices that can be used in place of salt. To tempt your palate, we’ll sample delicious variations on including tuna, rich in heart-healthy oil, in your meals. 

In promotion of total health you’ll learn some deep breathing techniques that you can use when the stressors of life pile on. Fresh Conversation participants often share that the program helps them make better health choices every day.

Join Fresh Conversations and take steps to improve your wellbeing this spring. The program, sponsored by Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, is free to attend. New members are always welcome.