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7 Ways to Prevent Senior Hypertension

By Mark Silvanic, 9:00 am on

According to a Harvard study, hypertension plays a significant part in causing more than 15 percent of fatalities every year in the United States. High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, cognitive impairment and kidney disease. However, there are ways to prevent the disorder, and consequently, the need for Colorado Springs post-stroke care

1. Engage in Physical Activity

Exercise strengthens the heart to pump more efficiently while encouraging blood circulation. Brisk walks or other cardiovascular activities can reduce blood pressure by up to eight millimeters of mercury during a reading.

2. Use Deep Breathing Exercises

The slow, concentrated breathing techniques used in tai chi, yoga and other meditative practices reduces cortisol levels. Colorado Springs senior care providers recommend that seniors sit, relax and breathe deeply for five minutes every day and night. 

3. Eat Nutritious Foods

A diet consisting of lean meat, fruits and vegetables combined with exercise will help seniors maintain a healthy weight. However, citrus fruits, potatoes, bananas, melons and sweet potatoes are rich in potassium, which helps maintain fluid balance and reduces risk of hypertension. 

4. Reduce Sodium Intake

African Americans, older adults and individuals diagnosed with cardiovascular or kidney disease along with those who have diabetes often have a sensitivity to salt. Persuade seniors to resist the saltshaker and learn new methods of seasoning foods. Steer clear of processed foods, as well, as these products are commonly high in sodium. 

5. Indulge in Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains chemical compounds known as flavanols, which increase vascular elasticity while warding off inflammation. One study indicated that 18 percent of volunteers who consumed ½ ounce of the confection daily experienced a decrease in blood pressure. 

6. Drink Herbal Tea

Older adults might also develop sensitivity to caffeine, which constricts blood vessels. When your loved one desires a warm beverage, herbal teas will have a calming effect. Tufts University researchers found that hibiscus tea in particular lowered the blood pressure of study participants by up to seven points when consumed daily. 

7. Listen to Music

Scientists performed research on 28 adults who were all taking hypertension medications. Each participant was required to listen to soothing music for 30 minutes each day. Following the first week, the blood pressure of participants lowered by more than three points. After one month, blood pressure dropped by more than four points.

You can help your senior loved one reduce the risk of hypertension, stroke and heart disease by contacting Home Care Assistance at (719) 822-1229. In addition to helping seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle, we provide specialized services such as stroke, Alzheimer’s and dementia home care in Colorado Springs. Learn more today when you schedule a free in-home consultation for your loved one.