Control Your Blood Pressure

By February 11, 2015Aging in Place

In a previous post we wrote about American Heart Month. This 28-day observance is very important because heart disease is the number one killer in America. It does not discriminate against sex, ethnicity, or where you live, but some people are still more susceptible to heart disease than others. There are plenty of ways to lower your risk of getting a heart attack or stroke, but this year’s American Heart Month is focusing on blood pressure. According to the CDC, over 67 million Americans have uncontrolled high blood pressure and the number continues to grow. In order to reduce the amount of people who suffer from high blood pressure, here are a few tips to help control the blood pressure of a senior loved one.

At Home Tests
In order to gain a full grasp of your senior loved one’s blood pressure, it’s important to check it as often as possible. However, that might not be possible if you have to continuously head to the doctor’s office every time you need an update. Luckily, at home monitors for blood pressure exist. They come with a full set of instructions as well as all the information on how to read the results.

This way you can cut medical costs for your senior loved one, because they won’t be needing to schedule various doctor appointments all the time just to get their blood pressure checked. Remember there are plenty of reasons a senior loved one’s blood pressure can fluctuate. It’s best to keep their routine strict and always measure their BP at the same time everyday. That way you’ll get the most accurate reading every time.

Sodium
What is the average amount of sodium one person should consume in a day? Most people don’t know the answer to that question which is why most people consume more than the average. The correct answer is 1,500 milligrams. Unfortunately, many people consume about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. Sodium absorbs excess fluids. It adds an extra burden onto the heart as it pumps blood all around our bodies.

How does all of this sodium enter our bodies? A lot of this extra sodium is placed in pre-packaged foods or frozen dinners. Your best bet, if you want to lower your senior loved one’s sodium intake, is to simply prepare home cooked meals. The more natural the meal, the less salt.

Reduce Stress
Stress is another factor that can temporarily or permanently increase blood pressure. If your senior loved one appears to be disturbed by something get to the bottom of it. The only way to eliminate stress is by determining what causes it. Seniors are never one to make other’s worry, so they rarely express the thoughts that are troubling them. However, whether it be about their health, finances, or family, it’s important to figure out what’s bothering them.

If there is potential for self-help, great! However, if a senior’s stress has engrossed them, it’s best to seek out professional help. Again, there is nothing wrong with seeking medical help when it comes to stress. It’s a serious health concern that can take a toll on anyone’s life, and most certainly raise your blood pressure.

Image Credit – http://www.letmedco.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/10857181_l1.jpg

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LivHOME

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