Many seniors in Walnut Creek, Menlo Park, and throughout the Bay Area live with high blood pressure, which often rises once we reach middle age. Known as hypertension, and even “the silent killer,” it’s vital to keep blood pressure under control in order to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and chronic kidney disease. While there are medications to help control hypertension, there are many other things seniors and their caregivers can do to help.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) states that more than 67 million Americans have hypertension, which is the leading cause of stroke and heart disease. Regular monitoring of blood pressure is essential, as those who have high blood pressure often have no symptoms – hence the term “silent killer.” Other than monitoring, what can you do?
Make healthy lifestyle changes. When you have high blood pressure, doctors typically recommend consuming less salt and focusing on a healthy diet. Many doctors recommend the DASH diet, however limiting salt intake and high-fat dairy products, along with choosing healthy vegetables, fruits, and grains is usually effective.
For those who are overweight, losing a few pounds can make a difference. Weight is usually connected to diet, and those who are overweight sometimes make unhealthy nutrition choices. Help your aging loved one lose weight and eat healthier by buying healthier food options and preparing nutritious, low-sodium and low-fat meals.
Exercise. While many seniors are super active, most who are 75, 80, or even older can’t participate in 20 or 30 minutes of jogging or aerobic exercise. The good news? For seniors, all it takes is light exercise such as walking or even some light housekeeping such as sweeping the floors.
Take blood pressure medications at the same time each day to keep it under control.
If you smoke, quit. It isn’t easy, but it is critical to healthy blood pressure and extending your life. You can find some great information and tips to help make quitting easier at the CDC’s Tobacco website.
Hypertension is extremely common, but it can be controlled so that seniors can live a healthier life and even live longer in many cases.
At Care Indeed our Bay Area home caregivers work to provide care, comfort, and compassion to make the lives of seniors happier, less stressful, and healthier. Contact us now for all of your in home care needs!