Hypertension can occur in a person of any age, but it’s especially common in seniors. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that over half of people over 55 live with the condition. Hypertension puts seniors at risk for strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases. If your senior loved one is at risk for high blood pressure, here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk.
Come Up with Ways to Promote Weight Loss
Seniors who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk for developing hypertension than those who are not. If your loved one is overweight, it may be time to take steps to lose it. Help your loved one come up with a healthy eating plan and ways to get moving that fit in with his or her lifestyle. Exercise helps with weight loss and lowers blood pressure in people who get at least 30 minutes of activity a day.
Seniors who need help with physical activity should consider professional in-home care. In West Hartford, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Discourage Smoking and Drinking
Smoking puts people of all ages at risk for multiple diseases, including hypertension. Stopping immediately, no matter how long your loved one has smoked, may show almost instant changes in his or her health. Those who drink excessively may also see an increase in blood pressure that can eventually lead to health complications. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about a plan to stop smoking, and encourage your loved one to cut back to one drink a day.
Avoiding stress is easier said than done, especially when it comes to seniors. Older people are often worried about things such as finances, health, independence, the health of other loved ones, and their own futures. Stress can be a major cause of high blood pressure. If your loved one is under a lot of stress, do what you can to eliminate it. For example, sit down together and create a budget if finances worry him or her. If it’s health, make an appointment for a physical. Spending time with friends, attending religious or spiritual services, and doing hobbies can also help seniors rid themselves of some stress.
Reduce Salt Intake
Too much salt in food can raise blood pressure. As seniors age, they are no longer able to process salt like they did when they were younger. For this reason, it’s important to watch your loved one’s salt intake. Pay close attention to fast foods and processed foods that typically add extra salt as a preservative. Soups and frozen foods are especially notorious for containing large quantities of sodium.
Preparing healthy meals for older adults can be challenging, but a professional caregiver can help your loved one maintain a nutritious diet. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. West Hartford seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Promote Good Sleep Hygiene
Getting a good night of high-quality sleep is essential for all aspects of your loved one’s health, including his or her blood pressure. Seniors who don’t get enough sleep or have related disorders like sleep apnea are at a greater risk for developing hypertension. Other signs your loved one may not be getting enough sleep include irritability and daytime fatigue. If you suspect poor sleeping habits, get to the root of the issue. Have your loved one avoid daytime naps, follow a consistent sleep schedule, and create a healthy yet comfortable environment for bedtime. If all else fails, see a doctor about performing a sleep study to check for disorders like sleep apnea.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. West Hartford, CT, 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. To learn about our premier in-home care options, give us a call at (860) 372-4500 today.