High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. While it’s unhealthy for people of all ages, high blood pressure is especially risky for seniors. Here are six ways for seniors to lower their blood pressure so they can decrease their risk for heart attacks and strokes.
1. Lose Weight
Obesity is a significant risk factor in the development of high blood pressure. Losing weight, especially weight that accumulates around the abdomen, can help your senior loved one maintain healthy blood pressure levels. If your loved one is unable to stick to a weight loss plan, make an appointment with a physician, who can refer your loved one to a registered dietician or nutritionist. The dietary professional can help your loved one make proper food choices so weight loss is less of a challenge.
If you’re a family caregiver and you find it challenging to have the time to shop for the healthiest foods, consider hiring a professional caregiver to take over your duties for an hour or two a day or a few days a month. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Woodbridge respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
Exercise burns calories so seniors can lose weight, and it also raises the metabolic rate, which promotes weight loss even when people don’t change their eating habits. In addition, exercise enhances cardiovascular health so the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood to the vital organs, which reduces blood pressure.
Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Woodbridge 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.
3. Manage Stress
Stress and anxiety can raise blood pressure because when seniors are consistently under stress, adrenaline and cortisol levels remain high. If your loved one is unable to manage stress, the doctor may recommend a consultation with a mental health professional. Once your loved one is better able to manage stress, blood pressure may decrease.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Advise your loved one to avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol raises blood pressure and makes the kidneys work harder. It can also lead to a certain type of liver damage that causes hypertension. If you believe your loved one drinks too much, tell his or her physician. Alcohol can interact with certain medications and may cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure. If your loved one is unable to stop drinking, the doctor may recommend contacting a substance abuse specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
5. Try Magnesium
Eating magnesium-rich foods reduces blood pressure in seniors and prevents the heart from beating too fast. Suggest eating more bananas, almonds, and walnuts, as these foods can keep blood pressure from getting too high. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy these foods, taking an over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplement will ensure he or she gets the recommended daily allowance for magnesium.
6. Reduce Sodium Intake
Consuming too much salt raises blood pressure. Many hypertensive seniors are on sodium-restricted diets to reduce blood pressure. Monitor your loved one’s intake of salt, and if it’s excessive, remind him or her to cut down. Too much salt can cause fluid retention and renal problems, which can also increase blood pressure.
Many seniors who find it challenging to manage their blood pressure on their own find that a professional caregiver 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 elder care. Woodbridge 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. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (203) 444-8575 today.