High blood pressure poses a serious health risk to many older adults. Although it is often hard to identify because there are so few symptoms, having a blood pressure reading above the recommended level can raise a senior’s risk of a number of conditions, including heart disease, hardened arteries or even aneurysms. Given the risks, it’s important for senior care providers to help their patients manage their blood pressure.
There are many things that can cause seniors to be at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure. Family history can play a significant role, but unhealthy lifestyle choices are usually the biggest culprits. Eating a diet that contains too much salt, not getting enough potassium and not being physically active can all contribute to a blood pressure reading at or above 140/90 mmHg.
Older adults can make a variety of different lifestyle choices to help them manage their blood pressure, experts say. Perhaps most importantly, caregivers in charge of meal preparation should help seniors craft a heart-healthy diet. In addition to reducing the intake of sodium, it’s crucial to include fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Additionally, encouraging seniors to exercise – even if it’s just a 30 minute walk each day – is a good step.
Many Americans battle high blood pressure. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 65 million people in the United States are managing the condition.