High blood pressure increases a senior’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and many other serious health conditions, so it is important for them to manage their blood pressure. Your loved one’s doctor may prescribe medication if his or her blood pressure is extremely high, but The Grand Strand home care providers recommend the following seven steps to reduce risk of hypertension.
1. Reduce Stress
People with chronic stress get 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 or attending meditation classes to learn stress management techniques.
2. Exercise Often
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 like swimming, cycling, or walking.
3. Lose Weight
Being obese is one of the biggest causes of blood pressure. Doctors say that 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 right after consumption. Doctors recommend that seniors with high blood pressure try to keep their salt intake below 2,300 mg per day.
5. Maintain a Healthier Diet
Seniors can increase intake of whole grains and fresh vegetables while decreasing cholesterol and fat intake to reduce issues with hypertension. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about a specific diet to lower his or her blood pressure.
6. Don’t Drink Alcohol Excessively
One drink a day can slightly lower blood pressure, but if your loved one starts drinking two or more drinks per day, his or her blood pressure will quickly start to soar.
7. Stop Smoking
Just a single cigarette can cause a blood pressure spike that lasts even after the cigarette is out. All versions of nicotine, including patches and gum, cause this problem, so it is best for seniors to avoid it entirely.
Should your loved one require more help managing hypertension, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are the leading provider of Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke home care in The Grand Strand that boosts physical and mental wellbeing. In addition to helping seniors with medical problems, our friendly caregivers also help manage daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Call (843) 353-3105 today to learn more about our services and how they help change the way seniors age in place.