With age comes the liberation from many responsibilities, yet it also brings the susceptibility to various chronic diseases. Among these concerns, diabetes and high blood pressure stand out as the most prevalent issues affecting the elderly.
Blood pressure, the force exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels, is measured using two numbers. The first number represents the pressure during the heart’s pumping phase (systolic pressure), while the second number indicates the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats (diastolic pressure). Typically, the diastolic pressure is lower than the systolic pressure.
Blood Pressure Readings for Seniors:
What qualifies as high blood pressure? For an average person, a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. Readings between 121-139/80-89 fall into the prehypertension range. Any reading of 140/90 or above is considered high blood pressure or hypertension.
However, a slightly elevated range (140-150/90-96) is still acceptable for older adults. This allowance is due to the natural stiffening of blood vessels with age, necessitating higher blood pressure to ensure adequate blood supply to vital organs, particularly the heart and brain.
Consequences of high blood pressure can be severe, potentially causing fatal damage to the brain, heart, or kidneys. Often, individuals are unaware of their high blood pressure until significant complications arise. This is why high blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer.”
Blood Pressure Chart for Seniors:
High blood pressure poses serious risks, including the potential for the optical nerve to burst, leading to blindness, and the arteries in the brain, legs, kidneys, and heart bulging, which can result in a stroke or heart attack.
Several factors contribute to high blood pressure in old age, such as being overweight, side effects of medication, genetic predisposition, prehypertension, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress. In many cases, the exact cause may remain unknown.
Hypotension, or low blood pressure, is also a significant medical concern requiring intervention. Common signs of low blood pressure, like blurry vision, confusion, dizziness, and fainting, should not be ignored, as they may lead to complications if left untreated. – Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.
Managing high blood pressure in old age involves adopting a healthy lifestyle. Positive changes include:
- Following a low-sodium diet
- Consuming fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products
- Maintaining an ideal weight
- Engaging in at least 30 minutes of daily exercise
- Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake
- Increasing water intake to 2 liters
- Managing stress through activities like yoga or meditation
Normal Blood Pressure for Seniors:
Regular monitoring of blood pressure and consistent medication adherence are crucial. High blood pressure is a chronic condition that requires lifelong medication. It’s essential to:
- Avoid skipping doses
- Take medicines at the same time every day
- Refrain from reducing or skipping doses, as these habits may have adverse consequences.
Remember, taking preventive measures today can save you from serious health complications in the future.
At Devoted Home Care, we understand the unique health challenges that come with aging. Our dedicated team is committed to providing personalized care that addresses the specific needs of seniors dealing with hypertension. We believe in empowering our elderly clients to lead fulfilling lives by managing their blood pressure effectively.
If you or your loved one requires support in navigating the complexities of high blood pressure in old age, trust Devoted Home Care to be your compassionate partner. Our experienced caregivers not only assist with medication adherence and monitoring but also promote a holistic approach to well-being through tailored lifestyle adjustments.