Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common problem among seniors. This condition can significantly increase an aging adult’s stroke risk, and it’s also a major risk factor for congestive heart failure. Birmingham, MI, caregivers discuss several important steps seniors can take to prevent hypertension and the many serious problems it can cause.
Maintain a Balanced Body Weight
Weight maintenance has often proven to be an effective tactic for preventing hypertension. As people grow older, their bodies need fewer calories and they also tend to burn less energy. Aging adults should adopt heart-healthy diets that contain few or no processed, refined, or ready-made foods, and they should also maintain regular exercise plans that include cardiovascular and strength-building activities. Seniors should try to work out at least 3 to 4 times per week and add both low-impact and non-impact activities to their fitness plans.
Reduce Salt Intake
A high-sodium diet can elevate blood pressure and increase stroke risk. Elderly people who consume too much salt should look for heart-healthy alternatives such as herbs, natural spices, and flavorful vegetables, and they should also pay careful attention to food labels and avoid premade products with a high salt content.
Stress doesn’t simply go away after retirement. In fact, it can actually become a serious problem and lead to hypertension. Seniors often have to find creative ways to stretch their limited incomes, and when faced with notable decreases in motor control, mobility, memory, and cognitive functioning, they often worry about becoming burdensome to their families or needing in-home care in Birmingham. Whether the stress is real or imagined, all seniors should have ways to manage these emotions. Long daily walks, yoga, meditation, and even deep, diaphragmatic breathing can help seniors keep their stress under control. Keeping a journal can also help alleviate stress because venting about fears and frustrations on paper can be extremely cathartic.
Tobacco use of any kind can cause blood vessels to constrict. Seniors who smoke are at a far greater risk of developing hypertension than those who do not. Fortunately, there are many cessation methods, resources, and aids seniors can choose from to help them quit this habit. When in doubt about how to start an effective cessation plan, they can always consult with their primary physicians.
Consume Alcohol Only in Moderation
Some studies suggest drinking a single glass of wine each night can have a positive impact on a senior’s health. However, too much of anything can have adverse effects, especially when it comes to alcohol and hypertension. Seniors should limit or avoid consumption of hard liquor, never consume more than 2 drinks on any given day, and be cognizant of how alcohol might interact with any medications they’re taking.
There are many steps your loved one can take to prevent hypertension, and the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance can help him or her start down a healthier path. All of our caregivers are trained in the Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program that encourages seniors to eat well, exercise regularly, maintain a sense of calmness and purpose, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. In addition to respite and live-in care, we also offer specialized stroke, Parkinson’s, and dementia care Birmingham, MI, seniors and their families trust. For more information on our in-home care services, call 616-243-0835 today.