High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer.” Although this condition often has no symptoms, it damages the heart and other organs over time, making seniors more susceptible to heart disease, stroke, vision loss, peripheral artery disease, and other serious health problems. However, a few preventive measures and lifestyle changes included in your elderly loved one’s Westfield home care can help keep his or her blood pressure at a healthy level and reduce the risk of these conditions.
Monitor Readings at Home
If your loved one has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, help him or her monitor it at home as directed by a physician. This can determine whether the prescribed treatments are effective and let the doctor know how much your loved one’s levels change throughout the day, which can determine if any further alterations need to be made to his or her lifestyle.
Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
The DASH method, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a guide to healthy eating for people with high blood pressure and those at risk for the condition. It advocates for reduced salt intake along with consuming a variety of healthy foods packed with nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Talk with your loved one’s doctor to decide if the DASH method or another diet is best.
If it’s safe for your loved one to exercise, doing so regularly can help lower his or her blood pressure. Combined with healthy nutrition, it can also help with weight loss. This is critical if your loved one is overweight or obese, a major risk factor for hypertension.
Drinking and smoking can have a negative impact on cardiac health, including blood pressure. Senior women should limit alcohol intake to one drink a day and senior men two drinks a day. If your loved one smokes, talk with the doctor about cessation support.
Take Medication as Directed by the Doctor
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your loved one may need blood pressure medications. It’s important for him or her to follow the doctor’s instructions, since stopping these prescriptions abruptly can cause negative side effects.
Whether you’re concerned about reducing your loved one’s blood pressure or just want to encourage healthier habits, Home Care Assistance can help. Our experienced caregivers can assist with exercise, prepare healthy meals, provide medication reminders, and help with many other important tasks. We also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke home care Westfield seniors can count on. For more information on our in-home care services, call 908.450.9400 to schedule a free in-home consultation.