6 Tips for Controlling Blood Pressure in the Senior Years

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 75 million adults in the United States live with high blood pressure. Little more than half have hypertension under control by using medication or implementing lifestyle changes. Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and organ damage. However, there are many natural ways to lower blood pressure. 

1. Limit Caffeine Consumption

Caffeine acts as a stimulant, which increases the heart rate and constricts blood vessels. Some seniors are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others. To determine how much of an effect caffeine has on their bodies, seniors should consider checking their blood pressure 30 minutes after drinking a cup of coffee or tea. In some seniors, the mercury rises five to ten milligrams. Regular coffee or tea consumption keeps blood pressure elevated. Older adults should consider giving up caffeinated beverages. 

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2. Quit Smoking

The chemicals used to process tobacco along with nicotine can elevate heart rate and blood pressure, and quitting smoking automatically reduces these vital signs. While some seniors may be able to stop smoking without difficulty, others might benefit from using nicotine gum or patches. If these tactics continually fail, seniors should consider consulting with a physician for assistance. 

3. Try the DASH Diet

Adopting the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet involves increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains eaten daily. Seniors should prepare meals with only lean cuts of meat, and produce should make up 2/3 or more of each meal. By avoiding processed foods and meals with high levels of saturated fats and sugar, seniors can reduce their blood pressure by up to 14 milligrams of mercury.

Some seniors need help preparing nutritious meals and making healthy lifestyle choices. 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. Lincoln seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

4. Restrict Salt Intake

Salt consumption should be limited to 2,400 milligrams daily, which equates to approximately one teaspoonful. Salt has the potential to cause fluid retention, which leads to high blood pressure. Seniors may need to limit their salt intake to under the daily recommended amount or not use salt at all. Limiting sodium consumption can reduce blood pressure by up to eight points. 

5. Exercise Regularly

For 30 minutes every day, seniors should take a walk, go hiking, jog, or engage in some other type of physical activity. Aerobic exercise keeps the cardiovascular system healthy while reducing blood pressure up to nine points. Activities can be varied to prevent boredom and encourage consistent exercise. 

6. Reduce Stress

Chronic stress triggers inflammation as cortisol levels rise throughout the body, including within the blood vessels. Older adults experiencing emotional, psychological, or physical stress should find ways to manage the issue. Options for reducing stress might include routine exercise, medication, or yoga. Controlled breathing exercises practiced first thing in the morning may have a calming effect and help seniors better manage stress.

From preparing nutritious meals to making healthy lifestyle choices, older adults may require assistance with several tasks. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Lincoln, California, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. To ensure your senior loved one receives high-quality in-home care, call Home Care Assistance at 916.226.3737 today.

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