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Helping Aging Parents with High Blood Pressure

Elder Care in Connecticut and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is proven to increase the chances of developing several concerning health conditions. Recent statistics have found that 4 out of 5 aging adults suffer from at least one chronic condition. Almost 7 out of 10 seniors have two chronic conditions. Chronic diseases include medical issues like cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. High blood pressure links to many of these conditions.

Nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension, also called high blood pressure. Only 1 in 4 of those adults with hypertension have their condition under control. High blood pressure was the primary or contributing cause of death for over 500,000 people in the United States in 2019.

Elder Care in Connecticut - High Blood Pressure

The Risks of High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a two-number reading. The upper number is the systolic pressure or the pressure on the vessel walls when the heart pumps blood. This number should ideally be in the 90 to 120 range. The lower number is the diastolic pressure. It is the pressure of the blood between heartbeats and should be between 60 and 80.

Normal blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. If blood pressure remains too high for too long, health problems can occur. High blood pressure puts a strain on blood vessels and arteries. If ideal pressure levels are not maintained, the risk increases for heart disease/attack, stroke, kidney damage, and other conditions.

Lowering Blood Pressure

Diet is one way to help gain control of high blood pressure. Diets are not just about losing weight but about consuming the best nutrients for a healthy body. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sodium, and sugar. Enjoy more home-cooked meals that use lean meats, plenty of vegetables, and plenty of whole grains. When craving desserts, fresh fruit is a great idea!

Exercise is another way to combat high blood pressure or hypertension. Actively exercising for 30 minutes each day can make a difference. That may include walking, bike rides, laps in a swimming pool, or participating in a fitness class. It may also be necessary to take prescription high blood pressure medication. Doctors will work with patients to find the right combination of medicines and activities to achieve normal levels with minimal side effects.

If a parent is battling high blood pressure and needs assistance, a home care agency might help. Caregivers can provide medication reminders, help with meal planning, and support daily exercise routines per a doctor’s recommendation. Aging parents don’t have to meet these challenges alone. An experienced caregiver can be an excellent ally in their efforts to get control of their hypertension.

 

Do you have a parent or aging loved one that could benefit from elder care in Connecticut or Rhode Island? We can help.

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