Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common condition among the elderly. Experts estimate approximately 50 percent of seniors over the age of 65 live with hypertension. High blood pressure displays few symptoms, but it can lead to complications such as kidney disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Here are a few ways to prevent hypertension in senior citizens.
1. Reduce Sodium Intake
A high-salt diet causes the body to retain fluids. The excess fluids exert extra force on the blood vessel walls, resulting in high blood pressure. Encourage your loved one to stay away from high-sodium processed foods such as readymade soups and microwave dinners. Instead, prepare simple meals ahead of time that can be easily reheated. Flavor the meals with herbs rather than excess salt.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Caledon seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
2. Promote Exercise
Regular exercise strengthens the heart, which is then able to pump blood throughout the body more efficiently and reduce blood pressure. Swimming, walking, or taking an exercise class are great ways for your loved one to get more exercise.
3. Reduce Stress Levels
Family drama, financial issues, and health concerns could burden your loved one with stress. When the body experiences stress, it reacts by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause the blood vessels to constrict and the heart to beat faster, which eventually leads to high blood pressure. Practicing meditation, taking a yoga class, or talking with a mental health professional may help your loved one manage stress better.
4. Help Maintain a Healthy Weight
If your loved one is carrying a few extra pounds, encourage him or her to lose the weight through a healthy diet and exercise. Extra weight makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which raises blood pressure levels.
Seniors can lose excess weight by making healthy lifestyle choices. 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 home care. Caledon Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
5. Encourage Eating a Healthy Diet
A well-balanced diet designed to prevent hypertension should include plenty of whole grains, lean meats, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Eating a diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables can help your loved one get enough potassium, which is essential for maintaining proper heart function and regulating blood pressure levels. Your loved one should also avoid excess sugar, which raises insulin levels that lead to weight gain.
6. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Excess alcohol intake has been found to raise blood pressure levels. Senior men should have no more than two drinks per day and women should stick to only one. A drink is defined as one 12-ounce beer, 1.5 ounces of 80 proof spirits, or 4 ounces of wine.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Caledon, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at 905-951-8885 today.