High blood pressure is associated with a variety of health conditions, including heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease. People tend to have higher blood pressure as they age. Keeping blood pressure at healthy levels requires some lifestyle changes and medical assistance. Seniors should follow these six tips to control their blood pressure.
1. Cut Back on Sodium
The modern diet is loaded with extra sodium, which can be unhealthy for seniors with blood pressure concerns. Sodium leads to fluid retention, which causes blood vessel walls to thicken, putting more pressure on the circulatory system. To reduce sodium consumption, seniors need to read labels on food packaging and pay attention to how much salt is added to food. Doctors typically recommend not eating more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, but seniors may need to cut back to 1,500 milligrams.
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2. Lose Weight
People who are overweight or obese often have high blood pressure because their hearts are having difficulty providing blood to their entire bodies. Losing a few pounds can have a positive effect on blood pressure. The simplest way to lose weight is to track the calories consumed each day and eat 500 fewer calories than the body burns.
3. Get Some Exercise
Cardio exercise lowers blood pressure because it strengthens the heart and makes it easier for the circulatory system to function. Doctors recommend seniors aim for around 30 minutes of exercise a day if possible. The exercise doesn’t have to be anything difficult, such as a lengthy run. All a senior has to do is take a walk, go for a light swim, or do some housework.
4. Avoid Stress
High blood pressure can be affected by both physical and mental health. Constant stress causes elevated levels of cortisol, the hormone that triggers the “fight or flight” response. Seniors can greatly reduce blood pressure by taking the time each day to practice stress management techniques, such as meditating for ten minutes, as well as getting a full night of sleep.
If your loved one is living with a serious health condition such as high blood pressure, consider hiring a professional caregiver to help him or her manage the condition and lead a healthier lifestyle. In Boynton Beach, senior 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.
5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Though a glass of wine each day can protect the heart and reduce stress, excessive drinking has the opposite effect on blood pressure. If seniors drink excessively, their blood pressure may increase rapidly. Senior women should try to limit alcohol to one drink per day, and senior men should have no more than two drinks per day.
6. Take Prescribed Medication
There are many medications that can lower blood pressure as long as they’re taken regularly. Taking medication can be a simple and effective way to manage blood pressure if other methods aren’t working.
Seniors with uncontrolled blood pressure may require assistance to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Boynton Beach seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. 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 (561) 740-6256 today.