Seniors with high blood pressure often take medication to boost their health. While your aging loved one should always follow the doctor’s recommended treatment plan, there are also other things that can be done to reduce blood pressure. These six tips are all natural ways for seniors to lower their blood pressure.
1. Go for a Walk
Exercise is a known way to lower blood pressure. However, seniors sometimes get frustrated by the thought of having to spend hours on a treadmill. The truth is it only takes small changes to start seeing positive results in a senior’s health. Encourage your loved one to take one or two short walks each day that add up to about half an hour.
Even seniors with mobility issues or health challenges can still exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Oshkosh 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.
2. Put Down the Salt Shaker
Salt has been linked to high blood pressure as well as related ailments such as strokes. Seniors sometimes add more salt to their food to compensate for a decreased sense of taste. Replace salt with flavorful herbs that don’t raise blood pressure.
If you’re a family caregiver who finds it challenging to have the time to shop for the healthiest foods, consider hiring a professional caregiver 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. Oshkosh 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.
3. Limit Alcohol
In recent years, older adults have been told to drink red wine and other types of alcohol to lower their blood pressure. While red grapes do have tannins that provide heart-healthy benefits, seniors need to limit their alcohol intake. In general, women should have no more than one drink a day, and men should stick to two or fewer. Limiting the intake of alcohol prevents it from turning into a contributor to high blood pressure.
4. Practice Stress Management Techniques
Stress dramatically increases blood pressure. During the senior years, some stress is unavoidable. Your loved one may worry about his or her health or be facing other issues such as the loss of a spouse. While you can’t change the things that happen in your loved one’s life, you can help him or her learn to manage stress better. For instance, enjoying a laugh with a friend or caregiver is a great way to shake off the stressful events of the day. Seniors can also listen to music, enjoy a warm bath, or engage in a favorite hobby.
5. Eat Berries
Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries all contain polyphenols, which are known for boosting heart health. Encourage your loved one to eat berries each day. Add them to a bowl of whole grains for breakfast, or experiment with making berry smoothies for a midday snack. Berries are also great to use for desserts, since they have a sweet flavor without a bunch of artificial sugar.
6. Cut Back on Caffeine
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages give seniors a pick-me-up. However, they also cause a short-term spike in blood pressure that can be harmful if it’s already high. Encourage switching to decaf or at least scaling back on the consumption of caffeinated beverages to give your loved one a healthier start to the day.
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 senior care. Oshkosh 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. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our Care Managers today at (920) 573-6295.