High blood pressure is associated with a wide array of age-related health conditions. Heart conditions, strokes, and dementia are all worsened by high blood pressure because it damages the circulatory system. Though high blood pressure is concerning, the good news is that it is fairly easy to address. The La Mesa in-home care experts at Coast Care Partners suggest a few steps to help your senior loved one keep his or her blood pressure at a healthy level.
Cook Low-Sodium Meals
The premade and processed foods busy caregivers or tired seniors resort to is typically loaded with sodium. Taking the time to cook at home can be beneficial for your loved one’s blood pressure because it allows you to create homemade meals without salt. Plain meats, vegetables, and grains seasoned with plenty of fresh herbs and spices provide plenty of flavor without including a lot of sodium.
Make Exercise Fun
Exercise can be so effective at reducing blood pressure that some seniors who exercise are able to stop taking blood pressure medications altogether. Being active lowers systolic blood pressure because it strengthens the entire circulatory system. However, many seniors avoid exercise because it is uncomfortable or boring. Try to find ways to make exercise enjoyable for your loved one. Many seniors enjoy activities like biking, swimming, dancing, and hiking.
Bring Up the Possibility of Medication
In cases where diet and exercise are not enough to lower blood pressure, it might be a good idea to get some medication. If you are your loved one’s guardian, talk to his or her doctor about the possibility of starting a blood pressure medication regimen. If you do not have access to your loved one’s medical affairs, you can still suggest talking to the doctor about blood pressure medication.
Many seniors have high blood pressure because they are overweight. The stress of having to carry around excess weight causes blood pressure to skyrocket, so it is important to help your loved one lose weight if necessary. The simplest way for seniors to lose weight is to eat less calories than they burn in a day. Calculate your loved one’s Total Daily Energy Expenditure and make sure he or she eats less calories than that number.
Find Ways to Lower Stress
Blood pressure might be physical, but it can easily be affected by a person’s emotional state. Chronic stress causes the body to react like it is being threatened, so blood pressure remains permanently high. Talk to your loved one to find out why he or she is stressed. Once you understand the causes of the stress, you can take steps to make your loved one’s life as calm as possible.
Providing care for an elderly loved one can be challenging without assistance. If you need time off to focus on your own needs, consider the benefits of professional respite care. La Mesa families rely on the caregivers at Coast Care Partners to assist their senior loved one when they need to go to work, take a vacation, attend medical appointments, or just get some much-needed relaxation. Give us a call today at 619-354-2544 to schedule an appointment.