High blood pressure in seniors: better understanding for better prevention
Did you know that hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is one of the main reasons for medical visits year after year? And that it is unfortunately the leading cause of many cardiovascular diseases? High blood pressure in seniors is a serious issue that deserves our full attention. By understanding it better, we believe that it will help in the prevention of this health problem affecting the elderly.
What exactly is hypertension?
By definition, arterial hypertension is characterized by a blood pressure that is too high as compared to what is considered normal. To properly calculate it, two elements are considered: the systolic pressure (maximum pressure measured during the cardiac contraction) and the diastolic pressure (corresponding to the relaxation phase between two heartbeats).
These two measurements together determine the blood pressure (which can be taken during a medical appointment for example or with a pressure device used at home). The numbers recorded represent the Systolic Pressure / Diastolic Pressure.
Although some variation may be normal in some circumstances, the average blood pressure should be somewhere around 120/80 mmHg.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, here are the categories of risks for hypertension among older adults :
- Low risk: Blood pressure close to normal (120/80 mmHg);
- Moderate risk: Systolic pressure between 121 and 134 / Diastolic between 80 and 84;
- High risk: Elevation of systolic pressure over 135 and diastolic pressure over 85.
High blood pressure in seniors: what to know about it?
Although high blood pressure affects people of all ages, the prevalence tends to increase among the elderly. Health professionals therefore recommend proper treatment of hypertension in seniors. According to studies, management of high blood pressure can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (such as stroke for example). Paying attention to your arterial pressure is therefore an effective way to ensure optimal global health and to maintain a good quality of life.
Not sure about your condition? Do not hesitate to discuss it either with your doctor, your cardiologist, and/or a nurse, who are all qualified to guide you for a good control of your situation.
How to recognize the symptoms of high blood pressure
While some warning signs can be related to high blood pressure (such as headaches, blurred vision, shortness of breath, dizziness and/or vertigo), a lot of people with hypertension may not experience any specific symptoms.
That’s why it’s so important to be constantly vigilant and to remember that the best way to prevent the consequences of abnormal blood pressure is to measure it frequently, whether with a blood pressure monitor at home, at a pharmacy, or by a real diagnostic during a medical appointment with your physician.
Preventing hypertension in seniors: 5 great advice to consider
Thankfully, solutions exist to prevent problems caused by high blood pressure in seniors. To do so, here are some good pieces of advice to consider:
- Eat healthy and varied meals while limiting the amount of salty and processed foods in your diet ;
- Keep an active lifestyle daily, knowing that physical activity can help to reduce risks associated with hypertension;
- Manage the stress in your life as much as possible;
- Limit alcohol consumption ;
- Avoid smoking and stay in a smoke-free environment.
Although these recommendations are valid at any age, they are particularly important for seniors who want to maintain good health for as long as possible!
Home care services: for a better quality of life daily
Do you have hypertension? Do you want to limit stress and avoid excessive physical exertion related to living at home? You should now that there is a range of accessible home care services for all seniors, regardless of your needs and level of independence you are looking for.
The good news is that we have a wide range of home care services available to all seniors, regardless of their needs and autonomy level.
At Visavie, our team of professional caregivers is dedicated to accompany each senior in a caring way through daily life, adapting to your individual needs. This means that evenif you are totally autonomous, you can still benefit from home assistance to focus on the essentials.
Here are a few examples of home care services offered at Visavie:
- Help with meal preparation ;
- Mobility assistance ;
- Post-operative care ;
- Specialized home care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease;
- And even more, based on your needs.
Above all, the most important thing is to stay attentive to yourself and to take care of your health. Whether it is about hypertension or any other medical condition, prevention should always be a priority. Whether it’s for you or an elderly relative, it is so important to remain vigilant to any changes regarding general health. By better understanding the incidence of high blood pressure in seniors, and by focusing on preventive tips, it gives you all the tools you need to continue living a healthy life day after day.