One of the leading causes of death among the elderly is heart disease. Failing to control his or her blood pressure levels could harm your senior loved one’s heart health and put his or her life in jeopardy. Therefore, your parent should consider the following tips to address hypertension and boost his or her mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
Physical activities such as walking, dancing, weight lifting, performing yoga, and cycling can keep the heart healthy in the senior years. A stronger heart pumps more blood with less effort, and less pressure placed on the arteries can help seniors lower their blood pressure levels. Encourage your parent to exercise at least three times per week and avoid activities that overwork the heart and joints.
Even seniors who have mobility issues or health challenges can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of trained caregivers. Elderly 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.
2. Limit Sodium Intake
Sodium-rich foods can cause the body to retain water, which can cause blood pressure levels to rise. To address high blood pressure, your loved one should avoid the following foods: red meats, tomato sauce, cheese, canned soup, soy sauce, and snacks such as pizza and microwave popcorn.
If you usually help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals but need a break now and then, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Harrisburg respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
3. Handle Stress
If your loved one is angry, sad, worried, or in denial, his or her body could produce high levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones cause the heart to beat faster due to a spike in blood pressure. When older adults are unable to handle stress, their blood vessels narrow, and their odds of experiencing strokes are higher. Your loved one will need to develop strategies to handle stress, such as staying mentally active, avoiding emotional triggers, and surrounding him or herself with an excellent support team.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption
The sugar and calories in alcoholic beverages can increase blood pressure. Excessive drinking can contribute to significant weight gain, increased body fat, and poor eating habits, which are all linked to hypertension. Your parent should try to avoid drinking more than one or two glasses of alcohol each day, and he or she should choose red wine instead of beer or liquor.
5. Stop Smoking
The nicotine found in many tobacco products can raise the heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, the arteries are more likely to narrow and harden, which causes clotting. If your parent doesn’t stop smoking and adopt other healthy lifestyle choices that lower blood pressure, his or her heart could work overtime, increasing the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
6. Monitor Blood Pressure Levels
One of the most critical issues is being unaware of blood pressure levels, which is why your loved one needs to monitor his or her levels regularly. There are free monitors available at most pharmacies and some grocery stores, and seniors can purchase tools to check their blood pressure at home. Your parent should also go to the doctor regularly to have his or her blood pressure, cholesterol, and organs checked as often as possible, which could lower the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and other serious health problems.
For seniors who find it challenging to maintain proper blood pressure levels, in-home caregivers can provide support and encouragement for making healthy lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. Harrisburg families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (717) 540-4663 to schedule a free in-home consultation.