Recent reports indicate adults with blood pressure readings of 130/80 are considered to have hypertension. The American Heart Association recommends seniors adopt healthy lifestyle changes as the first step to correcting high blood pressure. Here are some essential tips your aging loved one can use to control blood pressure in the senior years.
1. Adopt the DASH Diet
Seniors should consider adopting the DASH diet as one of the first steps in lowering blood pressure. This eating regimen largely consists of vegetables and fruits along with whole grains and lean meats. Meat should only make up 25 to 33 percent of meals. The rest should consist of fresh or cooked produce. By switching to a healthier diet, older adults commonly experience a reduction of up to 11 points in the top number, also known as systolic blood pressure.
Some aging adults need help preparing nutritious meals and making healthy lifestyle choices. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. 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.
2. Reduce Salt Intake
The daily recommended salt intake is no more than 2,000 milligrams, which is about one teaspoonful. Even if seniors resist the urge to add salt during meal preparation, processed foods often contain large quantities of sodium. Check food labels for sodium content, and avoid serving your loved one processed foods if possible. Many older adults find consuming salt leads to fluid retention. The excess fluid trapped between the cells increases pressure in the blood vessels, which results in high blood pressure. Experiment with herbs and spices if your loved one desires more flavor in meals.
3. Lose Weight
Being overweight causes the heart to pump harder and increases the pressure within blood vessels. Seniors should strive to lose weight to comply with recommendations according to their age and height. Older adults have the chance to drop one point in their blood pressure for every two pounds of weight lost.
4. Get Active
Older adults are advised to stay active regardless of age. Exercise strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure by up to eight points. Seniors should combine aerobic exercise and strength training to get optimal benefits. Aerobic exercise includes activities or workouts that raise the heart rate. Seniors should strive to get anywhere from 90 to 150 minutes of exercise each week. Along with regulating blood pressure, physical activity also helps seniors maintain a healthy weight.
From exercising to making healthy lifestyle choices, seniors often need help with an array of tasks. Philadelphia in-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Older women should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink per day, and aging men should have no more than two drinks daily. By reducing alcohol intake, seniors can lower their blood pressure by up to four points.
6. Stop Smoking
Nicotine and the chemicals used to process tobacco products are known to increase blood pressure. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, which interferes with adequate blood flow. Giving up the habit may provide immediate results. Quitting options include nicotine gum and patches. There are a variety of medications physicians can prescribe if seniors experience difficulty quitting without medical intervention.
Seniors who need assistance handling high blood pressure and other health conditions can benefit from professional in-home care. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional 24-hour care. Philadelphia seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance today at (215) 645-4663 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.