How to Lower High Blood Pressure

How to Lower High Blood Pressure

What do you really know about blood pressure?

Two numbers make up your blood pressure. The top number (systolic) is the pressure of the blood against artery walls when the heart beats. The bottom number (diastolic) is the pressure of the blood against artery walls between beats.

The target blood pressure for an adult is below 120/80. The American Heart Association continues to put the different levels into stages. If your mom or dad has a reading around 130/85, that’s an indicator of prehypertension.

Hypertension starts at 140/90. Dangerously high blood pressure is more than 180/110. If that level is reached, you should take your parent to a doctor ASAP.

Why Is Blood Pressure so Important?

With age, blood pressure is likely to increase. Arteries do stiffen as you age, and plaque may build up and increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. The American Heart Association says for people over the age of 40, every increase of 20 in a systolic reading and 10 in a diastolic over the healthy blood pressure doubles the risk of heart disease or stroke.

5 Ways to Manage and Lower High Blood Pressure

Getting a diagnosis of high blood pressure can be nerve-wracking for your senior loved one. Understanding the different types of treatments they might be prescribed can help your loved one to be more accepting of the treatment plan once you and their doctor formulate one.

1. Taking Medication

There are a wide range of medications that can help your senior loved one to manage their high blood pressure. Your loved one’s doctor is likely to recommend a combination that will work best for their specific health situation. Sometimes medication needs to be monitored and adjusted, so the fix may not happen as quickly as you’d like.

2. Dieting

Besides medication, what your senior loved one eats can make a big difference to their blood pressure. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains are all important. If your loved one eats a lot of sugar or salt, their doctor is likely to recommend that she cut back or eliminate them. Changing their diet may not sound like something that appeals to them, but it’s important for your loved one’s overall health.

3. Managing Stress

Stress can make high blood pressure so much worse for your loved one. Whether your loved one is worried about their health or other issues, it’s important that they learn how to manage those feelings so that they don’t take over. Exercise can help with this, as it can help in getting their blood pressure under better control.

4. Exercising

Your loved one’s doctor is likely to also recommend exercise for your loved one. They should start out slowly with a new exercise plan and gradually increase their activity levels. This is especially important if your senior loved one isn’t used to being very active at all. Your loved one’s doctor may also recommend that your loved one work with a physical therapist to ensure that she’s getting the right level of exercise.

Keeping your loved one’s blood pressure within healthy limits is essential for their future health. Work with your loved one’s senior care providers and other members of their support system to make the changes that they need to make to keep their blood pressure lower.

5. Spending Time Outside

Exercise is a good way to lower blood pressure. Keeping that in mind, one of the best forms of exercise is a brisk walk for 30 minutes per day. While your mom or dad could get in some miles on a treadmill, there’s a good reason to go outside.

Studies have also found that trees, flowers, and other plants help reduce stress. Reducing stress also can help reduce blood pressure.

A study released by the American Psychosomatic Society found a link between leisure activities and lower blood pressure. This five-year study focused on 126 Alzheimer’s caregivers, a group dealing with high levels of stress. Those who spent time outside walking, going shopping, reading books, or listening to music had lower blood pressures.

If walking around isn’t ideal for your parent, how about gardening? In addition to easing stress, gardening and spending time in a garden has been found to reduce blood pressure, too.

Contact Sonas for Home Health Care in Florida

Your mom or dad may need a lot of encouragement to spend outside. When you work, it can be hard to balance time at work, your own home, and your parent’s home. Homecare providers offer the support your parent needs. Homecare aides can join your mom or dad for a walk or supervise them in the garden. To learn more, call our homecare agency today.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care. Call at today (888) 592-5855.