Typically, high blood pressure (hypertension) develops slowly over many years. It is often called the “silent killer” because without noticeable symptoms, many people are not aware that they have it. High blood pressure is a common condition which affects about 1 in 3 people in the United States. This puts them at risk for heart disease and stroke, both leading causes of death in this country, and may contribute to kidney disease and diabetes. Family history can also put you at risk for hypertension. This is why it is important to get checked at regular intervals.
How to Detect High Blood Pressure
Seniors should have their blood pressure checked regularly. Blood pressure is measured as systolic/ diastolic pressure. Systolic designates the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats, while diastolic signifies the pressure in the blood vessels in your heart when it is at rest between beats. A consistent blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or greater is considered high blood pressure.
Fortunately, hypertension can be easily detected and monitored. You will be able to work with your doctor and home care provider to track your blood pressure and to keep it under control. Your doctor may consider prescribing medication to accompany any lifestyle changes.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
The first step in both prevention and control of this condition is adopting sensible lifestyle habits. This includes maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, and foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also important to limit the amount of salt in your diet. Many processed foods and restaurant meals contain high levels of sodium. These amounts are listed on packaged products and some restaurants highlight food items on their menus that are healthy choices.
It is advisable to maintain a healthy weight and dropping a few pounds could help lower your blood pressure. With your doctor’s approval, a program of moderate exercise may also lower blood pressure. Other factors affecting blood pressure are smoking and alcohol consumption.
In Home Care Support
At Home Care Assistance Fort Worth, our senior homecare specialists can help monitor high blood pressure. By tracking blood pressure levels, they can assist your doctor to determine if the amount of medication you are taking is working properly and ensure that it is taken at the proper times. Our in home caregivers will also see that you or your loved one has a healthy balanced diet and exercises to maintain a proper blood pressure level.
Simple changes can improve the quality of life for those we care for at home.