Hypertension can occur in a person of any age, but it’s especially common in seniors. It’s estimated that more than half of people over 55 live with the condition. Hypertension puts seniors at risk for strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases. If your senior loved one is at risk for high blood pressure, here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk.
Come Up with Ways to Promote Weight Loss
Seniors who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk for developing hypertension than those who aren’t. If your loved one is overweight, it may be time to take steps to lose some weight. Help your loved one come up with a healthy eating plan and ways to get moving that fit in with his or her lifestyle. Exercise helps with weight loss and lowers blood pressure when people get at least 30 minutes of activity a day.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care. Oshkosh Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Discourage Smoking and Drinking
Smoking puts people of all ages at risk for multiple diseases, including hypertension. Stopping immediately, no matter how long your loved one has smoked, may show almost instant changes in his or her health. Those who drink excessively may also see an increase in blood pressure that can eventually lead to health complications. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about a plan to stop smoking, and encourage your loved one to cut back to one drink a day.
Avoiding stress is easier said than done, especially when it comes to seniors. Older people are often worried about things such as finances, health, independence, the health of other loved ones, and their own futures. Stress can be a major cause of high blood pressure. If your loved one is under a lot of stress, do what you can to eliminate it. For example, sit down together and create a budget if finances worry him or her. If it’s health, make an appointment for a physical. Spending time with friends, attending religious or spiritual services, and doing hobbies can also help seniors rid themselves of some stress.
Reducing stress can boost quality of life in the golden years. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
Reduce Salt Intake
Too much salt in food can raise blood pressure. As seniors age, they’re no longer able to process salt like they did when they were younger. For this reason, it’s important to watch your loved one’s salt intake. Pay close attention to fast foods and processed foods that typically add extra salt as a preservative. Soups and frozen foods are especially notorious for containing large quantities of sodium.
Promote Good Sleep Hygiene
Getting a good night of high-quality sleep is essential for all aspects of your loved one’s health, including his or her blood pressure. Seniors who don’t get enough sleep or have related disorders like sleep apnea are at a greater risk for developing hypertension. Other signs your loved one may not be getting enough sleep include irritability and daytime fatigue. If you suspect poor sleeping habits, get to the root of the issue. Have your loved one avoid daytime naps, follow a consistent sleep schedule, and create a healthy yet comfortable environment for bedtime. If all else fails, see a doctor about performing a sleep study to check for disorders like sleep apnea.
Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Oshkosh, Wisconsin, seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (920) 573-6295 to learn more about our premier senior home care.