High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and many other serious health conditions, so it’s important for seniors to manage their blood pressure. A doctor may prescribe medication if your aging loved one’s blood pressure is extremely high, but there are also a few steps your loved one can take to reduce the risk of hypertension.
1. Lower Stress
Emotions can affect a senior’s health because they alter hormone levels. People living with chronic stress have permanently elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that can lead to a massive spike in blood pressure if not controlled. Seniors can manage stress by practicing yoga, taking long walks, or attending meditation classes to learn stress management techniques.
2. Exercise Often
Low-impact aerobic exercise can lower your loved one’s blood pressure or keep it from increasing. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can reduce blood pressure by up to 9 mmHg. The most effective exercises for reducing blood pressure are gentle aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, and walking. Encourage your loved one to exercise at least three days a week for optimal results.
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 in-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
3. Lose Weight
Extra weight puts additional stress on all areas of the body, and being obese is one of the primary causes of high blood pressure. The exterior of blood vessels experience pressure while vessel interiors accumulate extra fluid. Doctors suggest losing just ten pounds of extra weight can lower blood pressure. Encourage your loved one to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan to keep excess weight off.
4. Eat Less Sodium
Excess sodium causes blood pressure to rise immediately after consumption. Sodium can increase blood pressure by up to 8 mmHg, which is why doctors recommend seniors who are at risk for hypertension keep their daily sodium intake below 2,300 mg. Additionally, taking regular potassium supplements can help the body process excess sodium without causing blood pressure spikes.
5. Maintain a Healthier Diet
To reduce issues with hypertension, seniors should increase their intake of whole grains and fresh vegetables while decreasing their cholesterol and fat intake. Talk to the doctor about a specific diet to lower your loved one’s blood pressure.
Maintaining healthy habits is often easier for older adults when they have the right support. In Calgary, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
6. Don’t Drink Alcohol Excessively
Having one drink a day can slightly lower blood pressure, but if your loved one starts having two or more alcoholic drinks per day, his or her blood pressure will quickly start to soar. If your loved one chooses to drink alcohol, encourage him or her to have no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.
7. Stop Smoking
Just a single cigarette can cause a blood pressure spike that lasts even after the cigarette is out. All forms of nicotine, including patches and gum, cause this problem, so it’s best for seniors to avoid it entirely.
Seniors can stave off a number of health conditions while aging in the comfort of home with the help of professional caregivers. 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. Calgary seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 403-301-3777 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.