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What Are Some Ways for Aging Adults to Lower High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension raises the risk for heart attack and stroke. This risk is especially high for seniors who have preexisting conditions. Fortunately, there are ways for seniors to reduce high blood pressure so they can lower their risks for hypertension-related cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

Lose Weight

Carrying excess weight, especially around the abdominal area, can contribute to high blood pressure. Fat that accumulates deep in the abdominal cavity is known as visceral fat and is thought to play a role in cardiovascular disease. Also, visceral fat can surround the vital organs, including the kidneys. In addition to lowering blood pressure, weight loss can also reduce diabetes risk and promote optimal renal function. Diabetes and poor renal function can also contribute to high blood pressure. Your senior loved one doesn’t need to lose a large amount of weight to receive the blood pressure–lowering effects of weight loss. Losing only five pounds or so may have a positive effect on blood pressure and overall health. 

Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still lose weight, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Toronto in-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.

Limit Dietary Sodium

A high-sodium diet can raise blood pressure and may be especially unhealthy for seniors who have cardiovascular disease or existing hypertension. If your loved one consumes too much dietary salt, offer low-sodium foods. However, if your loved one says the food tastes bland, be creative with your use of spices to enhance the flavor of unsalted food. If your loved one insists on salting the food, make sure he or she drinks plenty of water throughout the day to prevent fluid retention. 

If you’re a family caregiver who finds it challenging to have the time to shop for the healthiest foods, consider hiring a professional caregiver to take over your duties for an hour or two a day or a few days a month. 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. Toronto 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.

Monitor Pain Medications

Both prescription and nonprescription medications can raise blood pressure. Examples of common over-the-counter pain medications that may increase blood pressure include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. These drugs are in a class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and are thought to raise blood pressure as a result of their effects on kidney function. If your loved one has hypertension and needs nonprescription medications to manage mild to moderate pain, talk to the doctor about using aspirin or acetaminophen. These medications are less likely to cause blood pressure spikes and are considered safe for those with hypertension.

Eat Bananas

Bananas are rich in the mineral magnesium. In addition to bananas, almonds and walnuts are also good sources of magnesium. Magnesium can also slow down a fast heart rate, relieve anxiety, promote restful sleep, alleviate migraine symptoms, and reduce the pain and inflammation of degenerative bone and joint disorders. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy bananas or nuts, taking a magnesium supplement may suffice. However, talk to his or her doctor first. If taken with diuretics or beta blockers, magnesium can lower blood pressure too much, leading to dizziness, weakness, and even cardiac arrhythmia. Also, taking too much magnesium can cause abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea in certain people.

Many seniors who face challenges managing their blood pressure on their own find that a professional caregiver can provide the reinforcement and direction they need to make lasting lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Toronto families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s 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. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (416) 488-8777 today.