What does your senior already know about high blood pressure? Some of these facts may help her to understand more about what she’s up against.
Aging Stiffens Arteries, Making Blood Pressure Go Up
As people get older, the entire cardiovascular system changes a bit. Arteries and other blood vessels get stiffer, sometimes called hardening of the arteries. This can be due to habits, like eating unhealthy foods, but it can also happen just because of age. As those blood vessels become stiffer, blood pressure goes up. This can happen even if your elderly family member already tries to have healthy habits.
She May Not Know Her Blood Pressure Is High
Many people with high blood pressure don’t realize that they have it. They may have more frequent headaches, but it can be easy to attribute that to other causes. Most people who have high blood pressure don’t feel sick or as if something is wrong, so it’s not until their doctor mentions it that someone realizes that their blood pressure is high.
Lifestyle Changes Can Help High Blood Pressure
Medications are one way to manage high blood pressure, but your senior may find that lifestyle changes help quite a bit, too. Exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and altering her diet are all changes that might help your senior. If she smokes, then quitting smoking is a good idea, too. All of these changes need to be run by her doctor, just to make sure that they’re alright to make.
Medications for Blood Pressure Need to Be Taken Consistently
If blood pressure medications are prescribed for your senior, she needs to take them consistently for them to work well for her. Taking them at the same time each day is particularly important. When she starts to feel better and her blood pressure levels come down, that doesn’t mean she can just stop taking the medicine. That means it’s working and she needs to keep going.
Your Senior’s Doctor Will Lay out a Plan for Managing Her Blood Pressure
The best thing for your senior to do is to follow the plan that her doctor lays out for her. That plan is going to take into account all of her health issues and needs, so it’s personalized just for her. If any part of that plan doesn’t work, talk to her doctor about adjusting it.
Having someone there to help with managing all of these changes can often be important. Changing her diet, exercising more, and watching for signs of side effects from medications is a lot easier if home care providers are there with your senior.