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Assisted home care – As we age, our blood pressure tends to rise. Tens of millions of American adults face high blood pressure. As well as 85% of Canadians between sixty and seventy-nine years of age receive treatment for high blood pressure. it’s quite a common condition, particularly for seniors. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that approximately “9 out of 10 Americans will develop high blood pressure during their lifetime.

Considering the prevalence of high blood pressure, it’s important for seniors. In addition their love ones, and their caregivers should have information about what it means to have a blood pressure condition. Similarly the strategies for managing blood pressure. In this post, we’ll give you the rundown on exactly what blood pressure is. In addition why changes in blood pressure can cause issues. As well as some of the best ways to mitigate, manage, and monitor blood pressure conditions.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is quite literally the pressure of one’s blood. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada defines blood pressure as “the pressure or force of blood against the walls… of blood vessels (known as arteries).” You’re probably familiar with the way blood pressure is typically written, with one number over the other. The top number is systolic blood pressure, which represents the pressure when the heart contracts. In addition the bottom number is diastolic blood pressure, which represents pressure while the heart relaxes.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) defines “normal” blood pressure as “a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.” Though “normal” numbers can vary from person to person depending on their age. In addition if they have any health conditions. When these numbers get too low or too high, this represents a health concern.

What blood pressure conditions affect seniors?

Seniors are often susceptible to experiencing high blood pressure, or hypertension. The NIA mentions that hypertension is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer,” since it is possible to suffer from hypertension without realizing it. This is why it’s very important for seniors to have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

Possible symptoms of high blood pressure include vision issues, headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath, but some people experience no symptoms at all. Complications from hypertension, according to Johns Hopkins University, include increased risk of stroke, heart attack/heart failure, dementia, kidney problems, circulation issues, vision impairment, and more.

Seniors are prone to experiencing isolated systolic hypertension, which means that only the upper number of their blood pressure reading is high. This is the “most common form” of high blood pressure affecting seniors, per the NIH. In addition to causing the typical symptoms of high blood pressure, isolated systolic hypertension can cause dizziness/lightheadedness when moving from sitting to standing.

A systolic reading of 120-139 and a diastolic reading of 80-89 signify prehypertension for most people. Like fully-fledged hypertension, prehypertension can, and often does, exist in the body without presenting symptoms. According to Harvard Health, prehypertension is not an illness itself, but it is “an important warning that illness lies ahead.”

Seniors can also suffer from low blood pressure, called hypotension. Hypotension commonly causes feelings of lightheadedness, weakness, and dizziness, and may also cause blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, nausea, cold skin, and even fainting spells.

How can seniors manage their blood pressure?

As with many medical conditions, the first step to managing blood pressure is to engage in preventative measures. This is important for all seniors, but especially important for seniors with prehypertension. Lifestyle changes that can impact blood pressure include:

  • Eating a healthy diet of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.

    • It can also be valuable for seniors who have or who are at risk for high blood pressure to eat less salt, since salt causes water retention and can “tighten” blood vessels. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) diet can help seniors reduce their sodium and saturated fat intake. If your loved one has hypertension, you may wish to discuss this diet with their health care provider.

    • Johns Hopkins University recommends a diet that “feed[s] healthy blood pressure,” which involves eating foods rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

    • A diet high in fibre can also help lower blood pressure, since fibre counters low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol.”

  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise each week. Seniors should always speak with their doctors about which forms of exercise are most appropriate for them. Your senior loved one’s doctor can also let them know if losing weight might help manage their blood pressure. According to Johns Hopkins, excess weight in the abdominal area presents a particular risk for hypertension.

  • Limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking. Smoking can cause an increase in blood pressure, and the same is true for unmoderated alcohol intake.

  • Reducing stress and getting enough sleep.

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures and assisted home care can have use to help regulate existing blood pressure conditions, particularly prehypertension. For seniors whose blood pressure cannot regulate with lifestyle changes alone. There are several different kinds of medications that are used to lower blood pressure. Some seniors may be prescribed multiple different medications to tackle their blood pressure condition from various angles. Your senior one’s doctor will decide if medication is appropriate by taking both your loved one’s blood pressure. As well as potential medication side effects into account.

How do caregivers help seniors manage and monitor their blood pressure?

Caregivers and assisted home care can assist seniors with taking blood pressure readings throughout the day and assisted home care. Which their doctor may recommend. There are quite a few steps to follow to take consistently accurate readings, and caregivers can help make sure that all guidelines for at-home readings are heeded so that readings reported to their healthcare providers genuinely reflect the state of your loved one’s blood pressure. If your loved one receives care from Royal Care Givers their blood pressure readings will also be reported to the nurses on our clinical team, who will note any significant changes.

Additionally, caregivers can help integrate lifestyle changes into your loved one’s daily routine. By preparing healthy meals, assisting with or supervising physical activity, helping to implement a regular sleep schedule. In addition making sure medications are on time, and more. A caregiver’s presence means that your senior loved one won’t be tackling their blood pressure alone – they’ll have someone else on their team to assist with both monitoring and treating their blood pressure condition.

Information About Hypertension

Since hypertension is not an uncommon condition. It’s beneficial for seniors and their families to have information about blood pressure. And what its highs or lows mean for the body. If your senior one does not have hypertension or prehypertension. It’s still a good idea to engage in preventative practices like developing a consistent exercise routine and sleep schedule. In addition eating a healthy diet, making efforts to quit smoking and to consume less alcohol. Similarly trying to decrease stress. Considering the likelihood of developing high blood pressure as we get older, these steps are good practice for all of us!

If your relative one does have a blood pressure condition. So lifestyle adaptions can manage this condition and medication, under the guidance of their doctor. Blood pressure isn’t static. So it’s important to test it regularly in order to treat any changes promptly and effectively.