Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention: Nutritional Needs and the ABC’S Approach

Live event held June 26, 2013

Nutrition is an important topic for healthcare professionals and caregivers in support of healthy lifestyle habits for our aging population; in particular for the prevention of heart disease and stroke. Adding the ABC’S regimen of 81 mg of aspirin, blood pressure management, cholesterol management and smoking cessation also lends itself to positive health outcomes and the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

This live one-hour webinar discussed nutrition as well as exercise, medication safety, the ABC’S regimen and other topics to support heart disease and stroke prevention.


  • Understanding the basic nutrition and hydration needs of our aging population
  • Understanding the relationship between nutrition and physical/cognitive functioning in older adults
  • Understanding the role of nutrition in chronic disease care of older adults
  • Understand the implications of food and drug interactions in older adults
  • Describe medication-related problems including drug interactions, adverse drug events, overuse, under use and inappropriate prescribing and non-adherence in older adults
  • Describe symptoms that may indicate that an older adult is experiencing a medication-related problem
  • Explain why older adults are at risk for medication-related problems
  • Identify the ABC’S of heart disease and stroke prevention and additional educational resources


lacyLacy A. Will, completed her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health Sciences from the College of William and Mary in 2012 and is currently working in her first year on her M.S. in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She works as a Project Coordinator through A Grace Place and has been helping develop a curriculum and a facilitators guide for training staff members of Adult Day Centers on the Person-Centered Care approach. She had a led a training for the staff members of A Grace Place. She did an internship with Riverside’s Center for Excellence in Aging Lifelong Health in Williamsburg, VA, where she had the opportunity to be part of various steering committees and research projects. She was primarily responsible for managing a 5-week evidence-informed caregivers course from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving titled “Caring for You, Caring for Me.”

She is interested in being an educator once qualified and continuing being a part of research. Her research interests include community organizations, community development and social planning, participatory research, program evaluation, intergenerational family relations, and caregiving support and health.

John (Jay) T. Whitehas a Masters in Gerontology from the Virginia Commonwealth University and is the Department of Gerontology’s Director of Professional and Community Development. His background includes marketing, public relations, fundraising and organizational development within statewide non-profit, education and tourism-related organizations.

Jay earned his BA in American History from Washington and Lee University and completed coursework for an MA in American Studies from the College of William and Mary. Current volunteer involvement includes Family Lifeline’s ElderFriends Task Force and a Grace Place Adult Day Center. Jay is a member of the Richmond Senior Network, the RVa Better Aging Forum, the Gerontological Society of America and the American Society on Aging.

Jay has co-authored articles and given presentations on a variety of topics including: LGBT and Aging, Aging in Place, Nutritional Needs of Older Adults, Evaluating Depression and Dementia and Person-Centered Care and Culture Change.


Ayn WellefordE. Ayn Welleford, PhD, received her B.A. in Management/Psychology from Averett College, M.S. in Gerontology and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught extensively in the areas of Lifespan Development, and Adult Development and Aging, Geropsychology, and Aging & Human Values. As an educator, researcher, and previously as a practitioner she has worked with a broad spectrum of individuals across the caregiving and long term care continuum.

As Associate Professor and Chair of VCU’s Department of Gerontology, she currently works to “Improve Elder Care through Education” through her Teaching, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees.

Dr. Welleford is former Chair of the Governor’s Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Commission, as well as a recipient of the AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award. In 2011, Dr. Welleford was honored by the Alzheimer’s Association at their annual Recognition Reception for her statewide advocacy. Dr. Welleford is the author of numerous publications and presentations given at national, state and local conferences, community engagement and continuing education forums. In 2012, Dr. Welleford was appointed to the Advisory Board for VCU’s West Grace Village project. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Mary Creath Payne Leadership Award from Senior Connections, the Capital Area Agency on Aging.

This webinar was sponsored by the VCU Department of Gerontology and is funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Health.




To download the slides here.


What are barriers to inclusion for proper nutrition for the aging population?
How would you overcome them?
How would you improve medication efficacy in older adults? 

Attendee responses:

  • One barrier to inclusion for nutrition is lack of knowledge about nutrition. One way to overcome this is educating caregivers and giving strategies for life style changes.
  • I think one of the big barriers to nutrition and hydration could be the need for mechanically altered food and thickened liquids.
  • We are talking here in Williamsburg about our chronic disease program and find that older adults report food doesn’t taste as good and costs of more nutritious foods are a challenge, as well as transportation issues.
  • I think the biggest barrier is decreased income.  Junk food is cheaper. I do no know how to overcome this.
  • In our day program the folks would prepare the food and that would stimulate their appetites and we could learn what they liked to eat.
  • We are talking here in Williamsburg about our chronic disease program and find that older adults report food doesn’t taste as good and costs of more nutritious foods are a challenge, as well as transportation issues.
  • We are partnering with CVS Caremark to provide a medication review in three communities and one-on-one review the individual’s medicine, food supplements over the counter meds.
  • Barriers would include cost of nutritional food, preparation of food, and getting to a store and transporting food.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). National Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program: Strategies for states to address the “ABCS” of heart disease and stroke   prevention [Program Guide]. Retrieved from 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Million of Hearts: About heart disease and stroke.  Retrieved from https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/abouthds/prevention.html#ABCS

The American Geriatrics Society Updated Beer’s Criteria (2012). Retrieved from

Heart & Stroke Foundation. (n.d.) Healthy Living. Retrieved from  

LeadingAge Wisconsin. (2012). The Normal Aging Process. Retrieved from 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2013). Smoking cessation products to help you quit. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm198176.htm