High blood pressure is a very dangerous health condition because it puts constant stress on the blood vessels. Seniors who have hypertension are far more likely to develop dementia, eyesight loss, diabetes, and heart disease than those with normal blood pressure levels. The good news is reducing high blood pressure may be enough to lower a senior’s risk for several serious health conditions. Here are five ways you can help your aging loved one reduce his or her blood pressure to healthier levels.
Reduce Levels of Sodium in the Diet
Sodium is one of the electrolytes the body uses to regulate its balance of water. Too much sodium causes the body to retain more water, and the extra fluid puts more pressure on the delicate walls of the blood vessels. Excess sodium intake puts a lot of strain on the kidneys and keeps them from filtering unwanted materials out of the bloodstream.
Reducing sodium intake isn’t the only way older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare services. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Encourage Exercising More Often
Engaging in cardiovascular exercise is a great way to manage blood pressure and strengthen the heart. A strong heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood, and this puts less pressure on the arteries. The impact of exercise on blood pressure can be as significant as the effects of some types of blood pressure medications. Taking the time to regularly exercise may drop systolic blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg.
3. Focus on Weight Loss Strategies
Obesity greatly increases blood pressure because the body has difficulty delivering blood while under the stress of added weight. Losing weight in old age may be difficult because metabolism slows as people get older. Seniors need to monitor their calorie intake carefully to get results. Obese older adults may lower their blood pressure by as much as 1 mm Hg for each kilogram of weight loss.
It can be challenging for overworked caregivers to assist seniors with regular exercise. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional elder care. Richmond, VA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Avoid High Blood Pressure Triggers
There are a wide variety of activities that can cause a spike in blood pressure, and regularly engaging in them can lead to hypertension. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol and caffeine can all contribute to higher blood pressure levels. It’s also important to avoid things that cause stress or anger because any sort of emotional upset can also increase blood pressure.
5. Start a Regular Medication Regimen
Some seniors have dangerously high blood pressure levels that cannot be reduced by lifestyle changes alone. In these cases, it’s important to talk to the doctor about getting a blood pressure prescription. Hypertension medicines are only effective when taken on a regular basis, so you may need to set up reminders for your loved one to take his or her medication on time.
From preparing low-sodium meals to exercising on a daily basis, older adults may need help with a wide variety of everyday activities. For many seniors in Richmond, VA, 24-hour care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (804) 207-4746.