Approximately 67 percent of adults over the age of 65 live with high blood pressure. Hypertension involves increased pressure within arterial vessels and occurs for various reasons. When left untreated, the condition often leads to heart attack, stroke, or death. There are many different ways seniors can address the problem.
1. Monitor Blood Pressure Regularly
Home blood pressure monitors are relatively inexpensive and highly useful for watching the condition. Start by checking your senior loved one’s pressure twice a day for one week. Document the time, date, and blood pressure reading each time. If a pattern of hypertension emerges, your loved one must consult with a physician. The American Heart Association considers readings of 120/80 as being normal. Prehypertension is indicated if blood pressure falls between 120/80 and 139/89. At this point, lifestyle changes may reverse the condition. Otherwise, the condition typically progresses. Stage one hypertension refers to readings between 140/90 and 159/99. Stage 2 hypertension is indicated by blood pressure of 160/100 or higher.
2. Lose Weight
Excess body weight plays a crucial role in hypertension development. The extra weight forces the cardiovascular system to work harder, which increases the amount of pressure in the veins and arteries. Diet and exercise are the means by which seniors can lose weight to prevent the occurrence.
Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Mesa at-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
3. Make Dietary Changes
Seniors need to assess their diet and make changes to facilitate weight loss and prevent or reverse hypertension. Healthcare providers often recommend the DASH diet. DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The dietary regimen involves increasing intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Meats must be lean. Older adults should consider including fish in main dishes two or three times a week. Fish and olive oil contain omega-3 fatty acids that protect the cardiovascular and neurological systems. Saturated fats, trans fats, and sugar must be reduced or eliminated. High cholesterol and triglycerides tend to narrow vascular passages, which increases blood pressure.
If you usually help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals but need a break now and then, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Mesa respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
4. Restrict Salt Intake
The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board suggests older adults shouldn’t consume more than half a teaspoon of salt daily. Many seniors tend to retain fluid when consuming any amount of salt. Excess fluid increases the pressure within vascular walls. Older adults who exhibit the problem need to eliminate salt from their diet.
5. Stop Smoking
The chemicals used to process tobacco products are known to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Breaking the habit alleviates stress on the cardiovascular system.
6. Adhere to Medication Regimens
Older adults diagnosed with hypertension are commonly prescribed various medications to remedy the problem. They need to continue taking the medications as ordered, have regular follow-up doctor appointments, and notify their physicians if problems arise.
For seniors who find it challenging to handle their blood pressure on their own, professional caregivers can provide support and encouragement for making lasting lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care services. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899.