Caffeine and Senior Heart Health: What to Know


When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



It’s been said that everything is good in moderation and considering the fact that the about 80% of the world’s population is dependent on caffeine to get through their day, according to the Journal of Food Science, we’re all hoping that’s true. Caffeine is most commonly consumed in coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks. But there are so many conflicting reports about the risks and benefits of caffeine that it can be confusing to understand it’s true impact on the body, especially when it comes to senior heart health. Here’s what you should consider.

Caffeine and Senior Heart Health

The research on how caffeine affects senior heart health is mixed. Most recent studies show it may actually reduce your risk for heart failure, according to WebMD, which cites analysis from three major studies, the Framingham Heart Study, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and the Cardiovascular Health Study, which followed for than 21,000 U.S. adults for at least ten years. Although findings showed that caffeine from any source appeared to be associated with decreased heart failure risk, coffee in particular could be part of a healthy dietary plan if consumed plain, without added sugar and cream, and in moderation.

Caffeine in Moderation

In terms of senior heart health, how much caffeine is just enough and how much is too much? According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s safe for most healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day which is roughly the amount found in:
  • Four cups of brewed coffee
  • 10 cans of cola
  • Two energy drinks
senior living guide to aging well
Keep in mind that reading labels is important. While a standard size cup of coffee is eight ounces, your mug at home or the coffee shop may be larger and caffeine content, especially among energy drinks, varies widely. Not to mention, you should also consider how the amount of sugar in soda impacts senior hearth health. What’s more, over time your body develops a tolerance to the amount of coffee you consume. Other factors like age, body mass, and overall health can determine your tolerance to caffeine, as well. But it’s not just tolerance that changes over time, research has found that it takes seniors 33% longer to metabolize caffeine compared to younger adults.

When Is Caffeine a Concern

Caffeine is a stimulant, and consuming too much of it can cause side effects such as headache, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, frequent urination, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors. Plus, some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others. Be particularly careful if you’re taking medications or supplements that may interact with caffeine. If you’re concerned about the effects of caffeine on senior heart health, teas are usually lower in caffeine than coffee. If you want to decrease the amount of caffeine you consume, it’s best to decrease your consumption slowly by:
  • Cutting back gradually: For example, drink one less can of soda a day or a smaller cup of coffee each day.
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day: This helps your body get used to the lower levels of caffeine and lessens potential withdrawal effects.
  • Shorten the brew time: When making tea, brew it for less time to cut down on its caffeine content.
As always, talk to your doctor before making any major decisions concerning your diet or senior heart health. For more information on senior heart health, download the Vitality Vitality Guide to Aging Well today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour of a community near you.
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