Risks of High Blood Pressure in Seniors
High blood pressure is a prevalent issue in Canada and throughout the rest of the world, which causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure, which refers to the measure of force of blood pumped by the heart against the resistance of blood flow in the arteries. When this pressure becomes excessively elevated it can result in damage to the arteries and lead to other health conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
It is a widely accepted fact that living a healthy lifestyle can help minimize a person’s risk of developing hypertension. However, a great majority of people do not feel the urgency or significance of integrating healthy behaviours and making healthy choices until they themselves start to experience the symptoms of hypertension.
The problem is that symptoms of hypertension are similar to those of many other health conditions and can be difficult to recognize. Even individuals with dangerously high blood pressure readings may not experience any distinguishable outward symptoms.
Waiting until there are noticeable complications is not nearly as effective as taking a preventative approach to managing health issues. The “wait and see” method becomes a matter of reactively addressing the already present consequences of hypertension. By then, irreparable damage may already have been done.
For seniors dealing with hypertension, the fact that high blood pressure impacts multiple processes within the body means that overall state of health and wellbeing can be compromised. Therefore, it is recommended to gain awareness of the possible implications of hypertension, and take an active approach to make healthy choices that can help support seniors’ best state of wellbeing.
Associated Risks of High Blood Pressure
Seniors with high blood pressure are at a higher risk of contracting a range of illnesses and diseases, such as:
- Heart Failure
- Significant Damage to the Arteries
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Heart Disease
Incorporating healthy lifestyle practices into everyday life is considered the best approach to decreasing the chances of developing hypertension. Seniors who are committed to participating in health-promoting behaviours have a meaningful opportunity to notably reduce their chances of developing high blood pressure, thus minimizing their chances of experiencing the associated risks.
Some crucial factors include:
Reducing consumption of processed junk foods high in sugar and fat is absolutely key to nutritious eating. The focus should be on a diet of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, healthy carbs, and quality fish and poultry.
Monitoring sodium intake is also important when it comes to blood pressure, and seniors’ daily intake should remain at 1300mg or less (1200mg for seniors over 70). This includes the sodium that exists within processed or prepared foods, not just the salt added to meals at the table.
Choosing Healthy Behaviours
Upholding a healthy lifestyle should extend to all areas of life, and intentionally deciding to steer clear of problematic behaviours that can put health at risk is an important part of hypertension prevention. Seniors should manage their consumption of alcohol and cease smoking entirely in order to keep themselves healthy for as long as possible.
Seniors should maintain an awareness of the features of their health that can be altered by changes in weight, and should consult with a healthcare professional to ensure their weight is within the healthy range.
Incorporating movement and exercise into seniors’ daily routines at a manageable and sustainable level is beneficial for their overall health. When combined with a healthy diet, exercise can make a meaningful difference in protecting against the perils of high blood pressure.
It is never too late to start making healthier choices which help protect seniors against high blood pressure, or manage existing cases. Conscious choices made by seniors relating to their diet, exercise routines, and other health-promoting behaviours can help to reduce the risks of high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle can allow Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge’s seniors to maintain a better state of health and overall wellbeing.
Contact us today for a Free Nurse Consultation to find out how our Home Care Services in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge can help you or a loved one manage and monitor high blood pressure.