Older age and high blood pressure seem to come in tandem, with the chances skyrocketing for individuals 65 years and older. Once an older adult reaches age 75, an average of nearly 80% will be diagnosed with high blood pressure. And the ensuing adverse effects can be severe: from chronic stroke, heart attack and heart failure to kidney disease and even death.
There are a variety of ways to help keep blood pressure levels safely under control, however. Grace Home Care’s Topeka home care team offers the following strategies to better control high blood pressure in seniors:
While the older adult’s medical practitioner will identify the most beneficial course of action to help decrease his or her blood pressure, it’s commonly advised that lifestyle choices be examined and altered as a first step. Changes such as those listed below can significantly help improve blood pressure:
- Physical activity
- Losing excess weight
- Stopping smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption
Lowering stress can also be valuable, through:
- Talking with a professional counselor
- Making sure to incorporate plenty of relaxing activities in the course of the day, like journaling, reading, spending time with friends, family and pets, and creative outlets such as painting or drawing
- Getting plenty of sleep
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute advises a particular nutritional regimen to combat high blood pressure – the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The objective is to lessen the amount of salt consumed and consume more of foods such as whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, vegetables, fruits, and in particular, foods high in minerals such as:
- Potassium (cantaloupe, lima beans, pears, bananas, oat bran, mangos, tomatoes, tuna, cucumbers)
- Magnesium (Nuts, spinach, black beans, pumpkin seeds, tomato paste, whole grain cereal, halibut)
- Calcium (greens, sardines, low-fat dairy products, salmon, tofu/soy milk, almonds, sunflower seeds)
Various kinds of drugs may be prescribed to help lower blood pressure, such as an ACE inhibitor, beta blocker, diuretic, calcium channel blockers, vasodilator, or other antihypertensive medication.
It’s essential for all older adults to have their blood pressure checked frequently, and to talk to the physician on a recommended course of action if high levels are detected.
At Grace Home Care, our Topeka home care services can help older individuals remain healthy and well, right in the comfort of home. Our fully trained caregivers can ensure seniors are following doctors’ orders by providing medication reminders, preparing heart-healthy meals, encouraging exercising and participation in enjoyable activities, and so much more. Contact us at 785.286.CARE to learn more.