Blood pressure readings involve two important numbers, diastolic pressure and systolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is the bottom number in a blood pressure reading. It is a measurement of the amount of pressure the blood places on the arteries between heart beats while the heart is resting. Systolic pressure, the upper number, is the amount of pressure on the arteries while the heart is beating.
For some people with hypertension (high blood pressure) only one of those numbers is elevated. So, if your older family member has high diastolic blood pressure, is there a way to target only the diastolic pressure? Experts say no. Instead, the senior will need to take steps to lower their blood pressure overall. Below are some tips that can help to lower blood pressure.
Take Prescription Medications Correctly
If the older adult has been prescribed medications for hypertension, it is extremely important that they take them according to the doctor’s instructions. Skipping doses or taking too much or too little can have serious consequences. Missed doses or taking a smaller dose can result in blood pressure rising. Taking a higher dose could cause blood pressure to drop too low, which can be just as dangerous.
Although a home care provider cannot give your aging relative their medication, they can remind the senior when it is time to take it and keep an eye on them to make certain they are taking the correct amount.
Eat a Heart Healthy Diet
By following a heart healthy diet, the older adult can improve their overall health and protect their heart and blood vessels from further damage. A heart healthy diet is one that limits unhealthy fats, sugar, and sodium. It focuses on healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein.
Increase Physical Activity
Exercise helps to lower blood pressure and encourages weight loss, which is another important way to control blood pressure. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. Some good exercises for seniors include:
Home care providers can help your older family member to remain more active by assisting them to do more around the house, taking walks with them, or driving them to an exercise facility for a class or to use the equipment.