How Can Seniors Lower Their Blood Pressure?

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Many seniors are affected by hypertension, or high blood pressure. It’s important that high blood pressure be effectively managed because it can raise the risk for heart attacks and strokes. Here are some ways to lower blood pressure in seniors so their risk factors for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events can be decreased.

Lose Weight

Obesity is one of the most common risk factors in the development of high blood pressure. Losing weight is a simple but effective strategy in the management of hypertension. Your senior loved one doesn’t need to lose a lot of weight to reap the blood pressure-lowering benefits of weight loss. Simply losing a few pounds may prove beneficial. If your loved one is unable to lose weight, consult with a nutritionist to devise a weight loss program to suit your loved one’s needs. 

Even seniors who face mobility issues or other health challenges can still lose weight with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Kingwood in-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.

Decrease Sodium Intake

Eating foods high in salt content can also cause fluid retention and lead to kidney problems. When too much fluid is retained, especially in conjunction with kidney malfunction, blood pressure may rise to dangerous levels. If your loved one develops fluid retention, he or she should drink more water to flush out retained fluid from the body’s tissues. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein instead of salty junk food keeps hypertension at bay. Avoiding extra salt on food can also lower blood pressure. Instead of salting the food, use flavor enhancers such as lemon, dill, pepper, or a commercially prepared seasoned salt substitute. 

If you’re the family caregiver for a loved one and you don’t have the time to shop for healthy 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. Kingwood 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.

Consume Potassium

Potassium is the active ingredient in many intravenous medications given to seniors with hypertension during hospital stays. Encourage your loved one to eat more bananas, oranges, and green leafy vegetables so his or her daily requirements for potassium can be fulfilled. If your loved one is unable to eat potassium-rich foods because they cause gastrointestinal distress, ask his or her doctor if a vitamin and mineral supplement containing potassium might be appropriate. While potassium can lower blood pressure, talk to the physician before starting a new potassium regimen. Consuming too much potassium may cause hypotension, especially if your loved one is taking prescription blood pressure medications.

Avoid Smoking

Many seniors who smoke are unable to quit because they’ve been smoking for many years. Cigarette smoking raises blood pressure, damages the small capillaries in the body, causes impaired circulation, and raises the risk for heart attack and stroke. Encourage your loved one to quit smoking. However, if he or she is unable to quit, see a medical professional for suggestions on smoking cessation options, such as nicotine patches or gum, prescription medications that reduce the urge to smoke, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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. Kingwood 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. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 832-412-1345 to learn more about our customized care plans.