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Simple Strategies for Preventing Hypertension in the Elderly

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Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension is a serious medical condition that should never be ignored. Untreated hypertension increases a senior’s risk of heart failure, heart disease, strokes, aneurysms, dementia, and many other health conditions. This condition is sometimes caused by irreversible genetic disorders. However the majority of aging adults can prevent high blood pressure by sticking to healthy lifestyle habits. Here are a few tactics you can use to help your senior loved one limit the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular health complications.

Carefully Track Blood Pressure

If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with hypertension, start tracking his or her blood pressure right away. Purchase a high-quality blood pressure monitor and test your loved one’s blood pressure twice a day. Whenever the readings seem unusual, write down all of the extenuating circumstances, such as what your loved one has eaten that day and how much sleep he or she got the night before. This information will be invaluable to the doctor when coming up with a long-term treatment plan.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Milwaukee, WI, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Encourage Staying at a Healthy Weight

Seniors who have been diagnosed with hypertension need to stay within a healthy weight range as well. Obesity is one of the leading causes of sleep apnea, and sleep deprivation has a major impact on blood pressure. Avoiding junk food, eating plenty of fresh produce, and exercising for 20 or 30 minutes a day can help your loved one lose weight. You can also speak with a registered dietitian if you aren’t sure which diet your loved one should follow. Most heart-healthy diets focus on leafy green vegetables, lean sources of protein, and whole grains.

Sometimes elderly loved ones need motivation to eat healthier to prevent or manage conditions such as hypertension, and a professional caregiver can help. In Milwaukee, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Reduce Alcohol Intake

In addition to being empty calories, alcohol can also interrupt sleep patterns. Seniors who consume alcohol just before bed are often unable to enter into REM sleep, which increases their risk of hypertension. As a general rule, seniors should have no more than a few servings of alcohol every week, and those drinks should never be consumed just before bed. The elderly also need to avoid alcohol if they take any other medications that slow their breathing or heart rate.

Increase Water Intake

Staying hydrated is another simple way for seniors to keep their blood pressure under control. After drinking a large glass of water, the body will try to retain as much sodium as possible, and this tends to balance out blood pressure levels. When an individual is dehydrated, his or her blood pressure may become very high as the vessels and arteries constrict. The average senior needs to drink around 64 ounces of water every day, but you might need to increase this amount if your loved one is extremely active or lives in a warm climate.

Seniors with uncontrolled blood pressure may require assistance to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 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. Milwaukee 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. To ensure your senior loved one receives high-quality in-home care, call us at (414) 964-8000 today.