High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. While it’s unhealthy for people of all ages, high blood pressure is especially risky for seniors. Here are six ways for seniors to lower their blood pressure so they can decrease their risk of heart attacks and strokes.
1. Lose Weight
Obesity is a significant risk factor in the development of high blood pressure. Losing weight, especially weight that accumulates around the abdomen, can help your senior loved one maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
If your loved one is unable to stick to a weight loss plan, make an appointment with a physician, who can refer your loved one to a registered dietician or nutritionist. The dietary professional can help your loved one make proper food choices so weight loss is less of a challenge.
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. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Exercise burns calories so seniors can lose weight, and it also raises the metabolic rate, which promotes weight loss even when people don’t change their eating habits. In addition, exercise enhances cardiovascular health so the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood to the vital organs, which reduces blood pressure.
Even seniors with mobility issues or health challenges can still exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable senior home care. Fair Oaks, CA, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
3. Manage Stress
Stress and anxiety can raise blood pressure because when seniors are consistently under stress, adrenaline and cortisol levels remain high. If your loved one is unable to manage stress, the doctor may recommend a consultation with a mental health professional. Once your loved one is better able to manage stress, his or her blood pressure may decrease.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Advise your loved one to avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol raises blood pressure and makes the kidneys work harder. It can also lead to a certain type of liver damage that causes hypertension.
If you believe your loved one drinks too much, tell his or her physician. Alcohol can interact with certain medications and may cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure. If your loved one is unable to stop drinking, the doctor may recommend contacting a substance abuse specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
5. Try Magnesium
Eating magnesium-rich foods reduces blood pressure in seniors and prevents the heart from beating too fast. Suggest eating more bananas, almonds, and walnuts, as these foods can keep blood pressure from getting too high. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy these foods, taking an over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplement will ensure he or she gets the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.
6. Reduce Sodium Intake
Consuming too much salt raises blood pressure. Many hypertensive seniors are on sodium-restricted diets to reduce blood pressure. Monitor your loved one’s intake of salt, and if it’s excessive, remind him or her to cut down. Too much salt can cause fluid retention and renal problems, which can also increase blood pressure.
From exercising to managing basic household tasks, seniors may need help with several everyday activities. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing serious illnesses and require more extensive live-in care. Fair Oaks seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. Whether your parent needs hourly or live-in care, give us a call at (916) 485-4663 today.