high blood pressure

Older age and high blood pressure seem to go hand in hand, with the risk skyrocketing for those age 65 and above. By the time a senior reaches age 75, between 67% and 79% will struggle with the challenges of this condition. And the resulting effects can be grave: from chronic heart failure, heart attack and stroke to kidney disease and even death.

There are a variety of ways to help keep blood pressure levels safely under control, however. Live Free Home Health Care’s New Hampton, NH home care team offers the following strategies to better manage high blood pressure in seniors:

Lifestyle Changes

Although the senior’s doctor will determine the best course of action to help reduce an individual’s blood pressure, it’s commonly recommended that lifestyle choices be reviewed and modified as a first step. Changes such as the following can dramatically help improve blood pressure:

  • Exercising
  • Losing excess weight
  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing alcohol consumption

Lowering stress can also be beneficial, through:

  • Talking with a professional counselor
  • Incorporating plenty of relaxing activities throughout the day, such as journaling, reading, spending time with friends, family and pets, and creative outlets such as painting or drawing
  • Getting plenty of sleep

Dietary Changes

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends a particular dietary regimen to combat high blood pressure – the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The goal is to reduce the amount of salt consumed and increase such foods 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)

Medications

A variety of medications 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 important for all seniors to have their blood pressure checked regularly, and to consult with the doctor on a recommended course of action if high levels are detected.

At Live Free Home Health Care, our New Hampton, NH home care services can help seniors remain healthy and well, right in the comfort of home. Our in-home 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 603-217-0149 to learn more.

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