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Q&A: High Blood Pressure In Aging Adults

Your 1+1 Team
July 27, 2022

As your loved one ages, so does their risk of high blood pressure. The 2020 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey recorded that 74.5% of adults over 60 had high blood pressure. With over half of seniors experiencing high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, you and your aging loved one may be overwhelmed with concerns. 1+1 Cares is here to address your racing thoughts by answering the following questions you may have regarding high blood pressure.

Why does blood pressure become higher in old age?

High blood pressure is more prone to occur in older adults due to how the body changes with age; specifically, arteries get stiffer and cause blood pressure to rise.

What are the signs of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is often known as “the silent killer” because it usually does not cause signs of illness you can see or feel. However, those with severely high blood pressure may experience the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Severe headaches
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nosebleeds
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears

If your elderly parent is not experiencing any of those symptoms, make sure they still regularly get their blood pressure checked as hypertension could still be a possibility.

What precautions should I take during high blood pressure?

While blood pressure is a common health problem for older adults, it can be controlled in most cases. If your loved one has high blood pressure, the first step you should take is to discuss with their doctor the best form of treatment for them. Treatment for blood pressure can vary by case, so they will have the best determination of how their loved one can get better and if they should go on medication.

Besides medication, there are additional steps to lower the blood pressure your loved one should take. They can lower their blood pressure naturally by eating a heart-healthy diet, controlling stress, quitting smoking, etc.

What are the natural ways to reduce high blood pressure in aging adults?

Your loved one can lower their blood pressure by making healthy lifestyle changes such as:

  • Aiming for a healthy weight: Being overweight can contribute to high blood pressure. To maintain a healthy weight, you need to burn the same amount of calories as you consume.
  • Cutting down on salt: As you age, your body and blood pressure become more sensitive to salt. Decreasing the amount of salt you consume in your meals may help.
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet: You can lower your blood pressure by maintaining a balanced diet of protein, vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and oils. We suggest you refer to the DASH eating plan.
  • Exercising: Staying active through moderate exercises such as brisk walking or swimming can help lower blood pressure. Start your goals off slowly so you can exercise safely, but eventually aim for 2.5 hours a week.
  • Drinking less alcohol: For drinkers, men should limit themselves to 2 drinks per day and women should limit themselves to 1 drink per day to lessen their risk for high blood pressure.
  • Quitting smoking: If you smoke, quit to avoid the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and more health problems. It is beneficial to quit smoking at any age, it’s never too late.
  • Controlling stress: Stress can be a big contributor to high blood pressure. Cope with what’s straining your life to lower your stress levels.
  • Getting a good night’s sleep: If you snore or have moments when you stop breathing while you sleep, tell your doctor because you may have sleep apnea. Treating sleep apnea and getting a full night’s sleep can help decrease blood pressure.

How to instantly lower my blood pressure?

You could lower your blood pressure immediately in the following two ways:

  • Taking a warm bath or shower: Studies have shown that taking a hot bath can lower your blood pressure because it reduces muscle tension. Soak in a hot bath or shower for at least 15 minutes.
  • Doing a breathing exercise: Take a deep breath from your core, hold it for about 2 seconds, and then exhale slowly. Pause and repeat to relax your heart and manage your breathing.

What is the final treatment for high blood pressure?

If your loved one needs more than lifestyle changes to manage their blood pressure, their doctor may prescribe them to take ACE inhibitors, diuretics, beta-blockers, antihypertensive drugs, calcium channel blockers, or vasodilators as medication, depending on their case.

Hypertension is one of the most common health problems in older adults, so it is essential for you and your aging parent to understand the ins and outs of how to treat high blood pressure. Make sure your loved one connects with their doctor to regularly check their blood pressure and address further concerns they may have regarding hypertension.

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.

1+1 Cares by serving as a family’s caregiving concierge.  1+1 Cares is a unique platform that synergizes premium service, qualified caregivers, and affordable rates.  By empowering families to make the right decisions, 1+1 Cares makes in-home care affordable and accessible.  1+1 Cares about you.

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