Aging adults with high blood pressure (hypertension) are at an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues. To prevent hypertension, family caregivers need to understand its causes and encourage their senior loved ones to take up healthy habits. Here are some of the leading causes of high blood pressure and what can be done to prevent each one.
1. Poor Nutrition
Seniors need to follow a healthy diet because it can help them stay in good shape and prevent the heart from working overtime. Aging adults should avoid consuming sugary foods and beverages, red meats, pickles, processed meals, and foods full of sodium. These unhealthy choices can lead to higher cholesterol levels, putting seniors at risk of developing hypertension. A proper diet for preventing hypertension includes:
- Whole grains
- Leafy vegetables
- Olive oils
- Lean meats
- Unsweetened drinks
If you’re a family caregiver who finds it challenging to have the time to prepare the healthiest meals, 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. Fort Myers 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.
2. Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation prevents the body from regulating stress and clearing the brain of dangerous toxins. Getting adequate amounts of sleep can control the nervous system and prevent a spike in blood pressure. Keep in mind that too much rest can raise blood pressure, so your loved one should try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause isolation as well as inactivity. Sedentary seniors don’t move their muscles and exercise like they need to, causing high blood pressure and various health issues. Seniors can lower their blood pressure with regular moderate exercise. They also need to speak with their primary care physicians about healthy practices to add to their exercise routines in addition to fun physical activities that can increase their circulation.
Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still benefit from exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Fort Myers at-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.
Developing stress-prevention strategies can lower the risk of hypertension, and this can be done by finding ways to manage the negative aspects of life. For example, instead of becoming depressed and stressed over cognitive issues, your loved one can focus on ways to enhance his or her abilities. Looking for the positive in a situation can lower stress levels and reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
5. Tobacco Usage
Smoking is a bad habit many seniors have, and it can cause severe complications, including hypertension, as they age. The biggest issue is the nicotine in tobacco products. Nicotine can raise the heart rate and narrow the artery walls. As a result, the artery walls will harden, and blood can clot. Continuous tobacco usage can lead to hypertension and an increased risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Some over-the-counter options you can use to help your loved one stop smoking include patches and gum. You should also encourage your parent to participate in fun activities that reduce the desire to smoke.
Many seniors who find it challenging to manage 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. Fort Myers 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. If your loved one needs professional in-home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our Care Managers today at (239) 449-4701.