According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 70 million Americans have hypertension, and only about half of those people have their conditions under control. Because hypertension can be especially dangerous for people over 65, it’s important for seniors to reduce their blood pressure levels in the following ways.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can be beneficial to seniors for both weight loss and blood pressure reduction. Your aging loved one can make positive changes to his or her eating habits and maintain a healthy circulatory system and heart by:
- Reducing salt intake to between 2 and 6 grams per day
- Limiting alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day
- Including foods with lower saturated fat content, such as low-fat dairy products
- Eating mineral-rich foods such as tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts, spinach, and other green vegetables
Seniors with cognitive impairment due to conditions such as dementia may find it difficult to prepare nutritious meals without assistance. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. West Hartford families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
2. Participate in Physical Activity
People tend to become more relaxed in their lifestyles as they grow older, but regular physical activity is necessary to maintain healthy blood pressure. Engaging in cardio 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 effect of exercise on blood pressure can be as significant as some types of blood pressure medications. Taking the time to regularly exercise may drop systolic blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg. Your loved one can lose weight and lower his or her blood pressure by taking a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes each day.
Even seniors with mobility issues or health challenges can still exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Elderly 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.
Smoking increases the risk of high blood pressure. If your loved one’s blood pressure is too high, he or she is at risk for having a heart attack, kidney disease, heart failure, dementia, or stroke. To increase your loved one’s chance of living a healthier life, encouraging him or her to avoid cigarettes is a step in the right direction.
Along with smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol can also contribute to higher blood pressure levels. It’s important for your loved one to avoid things that cause stress or anger, because any sort of emotional upset may also increase blood pressure.
4. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Drinking caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee can raise blood pressure. Since caffeine is a stimulant, your loved one may want to consider replacing these drinks with decaffeinated alternatives. When the body is overstimulated, it can cause stress, which can make blood pressure rise. Your loved one should drink plenty of water to balance out the other liquids he or she drinks each day.
For seniors who find it challenging to manage their blood pressure on their own, at-home caregivers can provide the reinforcement and direction they need to make lasting lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. West Hartford families 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 professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (860) 372-4500.