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How to Help Reduce Your Elderly Loved One’s Blood Pressure

According to the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia, high blood pressure affects approximately 40-50 percent of the senior population. Since this can lead to more serious conditions, it’s important to ensure your elderly loved one keeps his or her blood pressure levels low. Here are a few tips to help you accomplish this, brought to you by the staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care in North Coast.

Curb Snoring

Loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, and morning headaches are all symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Individuals with sleep apnea experience frequent interruptions in their breathing when they sleep. This puts extra strain on the heart, which has to work harder to deliver an adequate oxygen supply throughout the body. It can also increase levels of a hormone called aldosterone, which can increase blood pressure. A doctor can determine if your loved one has sleep apnea by ordering a sleep study.

Encourage Drinking Hibiscus Tea

Researchers at Tufts University discovered individuals who drank 3 cups of hibiscus herbal tea every day lowered their systolic blood pressure by 7 points over a 6-week period. Hibiscus is believed to contain phytochemicals that can naturally lower blood pressure. If your loved one insists on sticking to coffee, encourage him or her to opt for a decaffeinated or half-caffeinated variety.

Offer More Potassium

Potassium is a valuable part of any blood pressure management regimen. Your loved one should try to get at least 2,000 to 4,000 mg of potassium a day. The top potassium-rich foods include potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, and orange juice.

Suggest Practicing Relaxation Techniques

Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can all reduce levels of stress hormones. These hormones cause the kidneys to produce an enzyme called renin, which can increase blood pressure. Encourage your loved one to try deep breathing or meditation for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and before he or she goes to bed.

Recommend Eating Some Chocolate

A recent study showed approximately 18 percent of individuals who consumed one-half ounce of dark chocolate a day had a decrease in their blood pressure. This is because dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, which help make blood vessels more flexible. To get the maximum benefit, the chocolate should be at least 70 percent cocoa.

Healthy habits can be easier to maintain with the right assistance. If your loved one could use help with meal prep, exercise, and sleep hygiene, for instance, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to help with these and many other important tasks. We also offer specialised Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in North Coast. For more information on how our aged care services can help keep your loved one healthy, call (02) 6646 3527 to speak with a qualified Care Manager today.