If your aging loved one has high blood pressure, they are not alone. This condition is extremely prevalent in our society today, and most of the time, it presents without any symptoms. High blood pressure is usually diagnosed during the course of a routine checkup at the doctor’s office, so it is important to get your loved one’s health checked regularly.
If your loved one does have high blood pressure, though, there are many things that you or their senior care aide can do at home to help them to keep it regulated. Here is a list of just a few lifestyle changes that can bring down high blood pressure, even without medication (although it is always imperative to consult with your doctor before forgoing any medications).
- Lose weight – Overweight people are more likely to develop high blood pressure than others, so if your loved one is overweight, losing a few pounds might help bring down their blood pressure.
- Exercising – This tip goes hand-in-hand with the one above. However, it doesn’t matter if your loved one is overweight or not, exercise is always a good idea. No matter what level of physical activity your loved one is capable of doing, they should be getting regular exercise to prevent a whole myriad of problems, in addition to bringing down high blood pressure.
- Healthy diet – Again, a healthy diet is important for everyone, regardless of their blood pressure. However, it is especially important for people with high blood pressure, as food is one of the factors that can affect this. Try fruits and vegetables, and food that is listed as being low in fat or cholesterol. Eating more potassium can also help to lower blood pressure, because it makes the body better able to handle sodium in the body.
- Reduce sodium – As you could tell from the tip above, sodium can spell havoc for a body with high blood pressure. Your loved one should try to eat as little salt as possible, and avoid foods that are very high in sodium (check the labels, as this is not always obvious just based on the type of food). Try substituting herbs and other spices for salt in recipes, and you will be surprised at how much more flavorful they can be!
- Reduce stress – Stress can cause all kinds of problems in the body. Try to have your loved one relax as much as possible, possibly by doing yoga or meditation, or simply by taking time to enjoy a nice, peaceful hobby like gardening or jigsaw puzzles.
- Reduce caffeine – Caffeine may not affect everyone’s blood pressure, but it is a good idea to cut back on it anyway. Caffeine can cause the body to become stressed, which can also raise blood pressure, so try to avoid it as much as possible. If your loved one really loves their daily cups of coffee, though, you can do an experiment: have them drink their coffee as normal, then check their blood pressure around thirty minutes later to see if the caffeine had any affect. If not, drink on!
While these are all great tips for managing high blood pressure at home with the help of just you and/or a senior care aide, you should still check with a doctor to see if medication is necessary. If so, you can use these things in addition to medicine to great effect.
If you or an aging loved-on are considering senior care in Des Plaines, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.