High blood pressure is a common health concern among senior citizens. This condition can lead to numerous, potentially life-threatening risks, including heart attack and stroke. If you’re caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure or is at risk, here are four ways senior care providers say you can help.
4 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
1. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
Nutrition impacts various aspects of your health, including the cardiovascular system. Encourage your senior loved one to eat heart-healthy foods to reduce blood pressure and keep their weight under control as well. Senior care experts recommend lean meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach, for instance, are rich in vitamin K, which can reduce the risk of calcification in the arteries and promote blood flow.
Monitoring can save lives, as high blood pressure often exhibits no early warning signs. Purchase a self-monitoring device from the pharmacy to spot when blood pressure escalates. Take measurements daily or weekly and keep track of the numbers so you can detect changes. If blood pressure is increasing, see a doctor as soon as possible.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress can wreak havoc on the body and, along with diet, is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure. Help your loved one reduce stress through techniques such as meditation or yoga, exercise, aromatherapy, and acupuncture. Senior care professionals recommend counseling and therapy animals as well.
4. Prepare Meals at Home
Sodium is used as a preservative and seasoning in many pre-prepared foods, from canned and pantry items at the grocery store to fast foods. Because salt can increase blood pressure, it is essential for older adults to eat a low-sodium diet. Preparing meals at home gives you better control over how the food is seasoned and an opportunity to monitor sodium intake. Steer clear of salt substitutes which, like many sugar substitutes, can be just as harmful as the real deal. Instead, season foods with spices such as black pepper, turmeric, curry powder, chili powder, and cumin, which add flavor without the adverse effects.
In addition to these tips, it’s essential to consult with your doctor to monitor blood pressure and general health. New York City residents rely on HDR Healthcare Network in the Bronx, NY, for comprehensive, compassionate health care. These family doctors provide a range of services from home health and senior care to internal medicine and urgent care. Call (929) 256-5005 to schedule an appointment for yourself or a loved one or visit the website to learn more about what they can do for your family.