hypertension-blog

Caring for Seniors with High Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a serious chronic disease that can be fatal. Seniors are especially vulnerable to it. Care for high blood pressure requires constant monitoring, medical intervention and adjustments to diet and daily lifestyle. Professional caregivers can help seniors maintain the right lifestyle to manage hypertension and reduce associated risks. Here we share a few tips on how to care for seniors with hypertension.
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In Canada, more than sixty-seven percent of seniors over the age of seventy require medication to regulate blood pressure.

Hypertension or high blood pressure can cause a person to develop life-threatening medical conditions, including heart diseases, and is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. Hence, high blood pressure care for seniors is crucial for their overall well-being. 

Blood pressure care aims to reduce blood pressure levels to prevent the organs, capillaries, arteries, and veins from getting damaged. In addition to medication, blood pressure care includes managing lifestyle and diet to keep blood pressure levels under control. 

Sometimes, secondary hypertension can develop due to other illnesses such as kidney disease, medication side effects, renal artery stenosis, heart disease, adrenal tumours, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea. However, medication cannot control secondary hypertension. It can only be controlled by resolving the primary illness.

The prognosis of high blood pressure sufferers is highly dependent upon prevention and treatment. However, hypertension is mostly manageable. An early diagnosis followed by regular checkups and lifestyle changes can lead to the best outcomes.

Warning Signs

High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as a ‘silent killer’ because there are mostly no warning signs until someone lands in the hospital. People affected by this illness may not get diagnosed until their condition deteriorates. There are some early signs such as fatigue, headaches, ear and chest pressure that a few may feel, but are often ignored until the symptoms become severe. 

Severe high blood pressure symptoms can present themselves in several ways such as strong chest pains, acute headaches, difficulty in breathing, nausea and vomiting, nose bleeds, irregular and fast heartbeat, blurred eyesight, confusion, seizures, and even coma. It is critical to seek emergency medical aid if any of these manifest themselves in a person with high blood pressure risk.

Impact on Seniors

Hypertension is a serious chronic illness, which if not managed properly, can become life-threatening. If not treated, it can lead to many problems including permanent damage to arteries and organs.

Constant high blood pressure causes the heart to pump faster and work harder, which can increase its size. and lead to a heart attack.

It can also damage the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in neurological problems such as stroke, dementia, and cognitive impairments.

High blood pressure can cause kidney scarring and failure due to damaged arteries.  The afflicted may need dialysis and, in some extreme cases, a kidney transplant.

High blood pressure can also cause arterial damage in the eyes which can impact the optical nerve. causing illnesses such as retinopathy, choroidopathy and optic neuropathy. In some severe cases, a person can go blind due to chronic high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Care for Seniors

Caring for seniors with blood pressure requires helping seniors maintain an appropriate lifestyle. 

One of the most critical lifestyle changes needed to control blood pressure is adopting a healthy daily diet. Carers for seniors with high blood pressure need to prepare meals that can help with controlling hypertension. They also need to ensure that the seniors are consuming fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables. The amount of salt in the diet needs to be reduced or eliminated and water intake needs to be tracked to ensure proper hydration. Consumption of caffeinated items such as chocolates, coffees, teas, and alcohol needs to be reduced and monitored.

A second required lifestyle change is the incorporation of stress-reducing exercises into the seniors’ daily routines. Carers need to ensure that the loved ones are exercising according to their doctor’s recommendation daily by providing encouragement and motivation. They can also join the seniors for exercise which can also fortify the bond between the carers and the seniors under their care. The caregivers can also sign the seniors up for activities such as yoga, stretching, swimming, biking and pilates all of which help keep the blood pressure level low. 

The most important part of care for seniors with high blood pressure is monitoring medication and ensuring that the seniors take them on time.

The caregivers need to ensure that the seniors under their care visit their doctors regularly, make follow-up appointments, and get their medical tests done whenever the doctors ask. 

The caregivers also need to monitor and log the blood pressure levels of seniors and keep notes on their food intake and any issues between medical appointments as these can help the doctors adjust the seniors’ medications.

Getting professional care for seniors with high blood pressure

Chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure can be challenging for the elderly to manage independently. Family members may be too busy and may not always know about what to do and how to take care of their hypertensive loved ones.

This is where professional home care providers, such as  ConsidraCare, can help. Our approved caregivers are trained and experienced professionals and can support seniors suffering from chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure. They can help with many of the activities identified above, such as medication reminders, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing stress, monitoring vitals and keeping medical appointments.

As our caregivers move into the homes of your loved ones and provide one-to-one care, they can help maintain a care regime tailormade for your loved-ones lifestyle, help them maintain their health and independence, and are always on hand to help.

Want to learn more? 

 

You can download our detailed Hypertension Care Booklet here

Please reach out to us at wecare@considracare.com, or call us at 1-855-410-7971 and we will be happy to help you with the care needs of a loved one.

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