Although high blood pressure typically doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms, it is a dangerous condition that can lead to serious health problems. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart disease, and hardening of the arteries. A normal blood pressure is one that is 120/80 or lower. Over that is considered elevated until it reaches 130-139/80-89, which is considered high. Knowing what causes your aging relative’s blood pressure to be high may also be the key to helping them lower it.
General Information About High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force blood exerts on the arteries as it flows through them. When it pushes too hard against the artery walls, over time it can cause damage to the blood vessels and the heart.
Generally, people don’t have symptoms from high blood pressure. However, when blood pressure gets quite high some people experience symptoms like:
- Shortness of breath.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Development of high blood pressure can be influenced by several risk factors. Many of them are controllable. Risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- Age: Getting older increases the risk of having high blood pressure.
- Family History: Having close relatives with high blood pressure increases the risk.
- Race: People of African-American descent are more likely to get high blood pressure than Caucasians are. African Americans are also more likely to have serious complications.
- Obesity: People who are overweight need more blood to feed the tissues in their bodies. The more blood that needs to flow through the arteries, the more pressure it causes.
- Lack of Exercise: Physical inactivity can lead to a higher heart rate. That makes the heart work harder and increases pressure on arteries.
- Tobacco Use: The substances in tobacco contribute to damage in the arteries. So, whether a person smokes or chews tobacco, they are increasing their blood pressure.
- Excess Sodium: Eating too much salt, or sodium, causes the body to retain fluids, which makes blood pressure rise.
While there isn’t anything seniors can do about risk factors like age and race, controlling other risk factors can also help to lower existing high blood pressure. Home care can help with making lifestyle changes that will help keep blood pressure levels under control. Home care providers can cook healthy meals that are low in sodium and promote weight loss. Home care providers can also assist seniors with being more physically active by going for walks or involving them in activities at home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Manalapan, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care Serving Somerset and Middlesex/Union Counties today. Call (732) 607-8870.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.