Recent reports indicate that adults with blood pressure readings at 130/80 are considered to have hypertension. The American Heart Association recommends seniors adopt healthy lifestyle changes as the first step to correcting high blood pressure. Here are some essential tips your loved one can use to control blood pressure in the senior years.
1. Adopt the DASH Diet
Seniors should consider adopting the DASH diet as one of the first steps in lowering blood pressure. This eating regimen largely consists of vegetables and fruits along with whole grains and lean meats. Meats should only make up 25 to 33 percent of the meal. The rest should consist of fresh or cooked produce. By switching to a healthier diet, older adults commonly experience a reduction of up to 11 points off the top number, also known as systolic blood pressure.
Some aging adults need help preparing nutritious meals and making healthy lifestyle choices. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Cleveland West, Ohio, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Reduce Salt Intake
The daily recommended salt intake should be no more than 2,000 milligrams, which is about one teaspoonful. Even if seniors resist the urge to add salt during meal preparation, processed foods often harbor large quantities of sodium. Check food labels for sodium content and avoid serving your loved one processed foods if possible. Many older adults find that consuming salt leads to fluid retention. The excess fluid trapped between the cells adds pressure to the blood vessels, which results in high blood pressure. Experiment with herbs and spices if your loved one desires more flavor in meals.
3. Lose Weight
Being overweight causes the heart to pump harder and increases the pressure within blood vessels. Seniors should strive to lose weight to comply with recommendations according to their age and height. Older adults have the chance to drop one point in their blood pressure for every two pounds of weight lost.
4. Get Active
Older adults are advised to stay active regardless of age. Exercise strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure by up to eight points. Seniors should combine aerobic exercise and strength training to get optimal benefits. Aerobic exercise includes activities or workouts that raise the heart rate. Seniors should strive to get anywhere from 90 to 150 minutes of exercise each week. Along with regulating blood pressure, physical activity also helps seniors maintain a healthy weight.
From exercising to making healthy lifestyle choices, seniors often need help with an array of tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Cleveland West seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Older women should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink per day, and men should have no more than two drinks daily. By reducing alcohol intake, blood pressure drops by up to four points.
6. Stop Smoking
Nicotine and the chemicals used to process tobacco products are known to increase blood pressure. When smoking, blood vessels constrict, which interferes with adequate blood flow. Giving up the habit provides immediate results. Quitting options include nicotine gum or patches. There are a variety of medications physicians prescribe if seniors experience difficulty quitting without medical intervention.
Seniors who need assistance managing high blood pressure levels and other conditions can benefit from professional in-home care. In Cleveland West, Ohio, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (440) 455-4031 to learn about our premier senior care services.