Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a serious medical issue that’s very common among older adults. According to the CDC, just over 108 million Americans have high blood pressure, and only 25 percent of those people are taking steps to address the condition. If your aging loved one has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s time to come up with a long-term plan for boosting his or her cardiovascular health.
Watch Their Sodium Intake
Eating a lot of salt won’t always cause hypertension, but it can make the problem much worse. According to the American Heart Association, lowering sodium levels is one of the first steps an individual should take after being diagnosed with high blood pressure. Consuming too much salt forces the body to hold extra fluid, which causes the cardiovascular system to work much harder. Instead of flavoring your loved one’s foods with salt, you might want to try a variety of other spices to see if you can find flavor combinations he or she enjoys.
Get Them Moving Around
High blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle often go hand in hand, and your loved one will need to begin exercising to boost his or her health. Before starting any type of training, your loved one should first speak with the doctor to make sure he or she is healthy enough for rigorous activities. Once cleared by the doctor, your loved one can then try moderate exercises, such as going on walks, gardening, riding a stationary bicycle, or swimming in an indoor pool. If your loved one is healthy enough, he or she should also try to use resistance bands or lift weights.
Even seniors with mobility issues or health challenges can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Wellesley senior 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.
Double-Check Their Diet
There are a few different reasons you might want to take a closer look at your loved one’s diet. In addition to watching his or her salt intake, you also need to keep a close eye on how many calories he or she is eating and drinking each day. Many people don’t realize they’re consuming hundreds or even thousands of extra calories per day, which can eventually have a huge impact on their weight as well as their blood pressure. Sticking to nutrient-dense foods while avoiding highly processed foods is one of the best ways to lose weight.
If you usually help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals but need a break now and then, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. 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. Wellesley 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.
Help Them Take Control of Their Stress
Studies continue to show chronic stress is a major problem among the aging population. Some older adults are worried about their own mortality, while others constantly stress over money problems. No matter what’s causing the stress, you need to help your loved one work on some coping mechanisms. For severe stress or anxiety, your loved one should probably head to a therapist or another mental health specialist. If the stress doesn’t seem to be too severe, your loved one might benefit from trying guided breathing sessions, meditating, or writing in a journal.
For seniors who find it challenging to handle their blood pressure on their own, professional caregivers can provide support and encouragement for making lasting lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. You 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 learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (781) 239-0060 today.