Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. While hypertension can develop at any age, aging adults are more susceptible to this health issue. There are several risk factors associated with hypertension in seniors, but simple lifestyle changes can lower the risk. Here are six ways to prevent hypertension in aging adults.
1. Monitor Medications
Certain medications can raise the risk of hypertension. Older individuals with degenerative conditions of the bones and joints such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis often take medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs can lead to fluid retention and diminished kidney function, which are risk factors in the development of hypertension.
If your elderly loved one takes an NSAID medication such as ibuprofen, make an appointment with a physician to check your loved one’s blood pressure. If it’s elevated, the doctor may recommend a different type of pain reliever that’s less likely to cause hypertension.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight is another important risk factor in the development of hypertension. Even modest amounts of weight loss can keep blood pressure under control and lower the risk of diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Limiting intake of sugary snacks and soft drinks, high-fat foods, and simple carbohydrates can help your loved one lose weight and increase energy levels.
If your loved one is unable to lose weight, speak to the physician about effective weight loss strategies. The doctor may recommend consulting with a registered dietician or certified nutritionist to help your loved one maintain a healthy weight.
Mild forms of exercise such as leisurely strolls can keep high blood pressure at bay. Walking can reduce excess weight, anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression, which all play important roles in the development of high blood pressure. Make sure your loved one wears comfortable shoes when walking to prevent falls and foot pain.
Seniors who need help with physical activity should consider professional in-home care. Mississauga senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
4. Consume Magnesium-Rich Foods
Incorporating more magnesium-rich foods into your loved one’s diet may stave off hypertension. Magnesium keeps the arteries healthy and promotes optimal cardiovascular function. If your loved one isn’t on a restricted diet, encourage him or her to eat more nuts and green leafy vegetables to keep blood pressure down. Nuts and green leafy vegetables are good sources of magnesium and are also rich in other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
5. Don’t Smoke
Smoking increases the risk of lung disease, heart attacks, and stroke, and it also contributes to high blood pressure. If your loved one smokes, encourage him or her to quit or at least cut down. However, if your parent is unable to quit smoking, the doctor can recommend effective smoking cessation techniques, such as nicotine replacement patches, support groups, and biofeedback.
6. Control Kidney Health
Kidney disease significantly contributes to the development of high blood pressure. If the kidneys fail, toxic substances and fluids may build up in the body, leading to illnesses such as fluid overload, sepsis, pulmonary issues, edema, and hypertension.
If your loved one has kidney-related issues, make sure he or she keeps up with all scheduled doctor’s appointments so medications, weight, blood pressure, and cardiovascular status can be monitored. When kidney disease is controlled through drug therapy, weight management, and smoking cessation, the risk of high blood pressure is reduced.
From eating nutritious meals to exercising on a regular basis, older adults may need help with an array of tasks. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing serious illnesses and require more extensive live-in care. Mississauga seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. Whether your parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour care, give us a call at 905-337-1200 today.