To many of us, high blood pressure is just another mystery. When we go to our doctors’ appointments, they put on a cuff on our arm, inflate it, and jot down a few numbers. When prompted, we are told that everything is fine. In the case of seniors, we may be told that we have high blood pressure (aka Hypertension).
Hypertension should be taken very seriously. It raises the risk of heart related diseases, such as stroke, vision loss and kidney disease. Some 1/3 of Canadian adults are living with the condition – yet only half often are able to control it. A combination of medication and lifestyle choices (e.g., limiting alcohol consumption, exercising and avoiding smoking) can be used to manage high blood pressure.
What Research Tells Us
Medical research is constantly evolving, which helps us better understand high blood pressure. University of Exeter in the U.K. conducted a study a few years ago about “White-coat Hypertension” for instance. The phenomenon occurs when a patient who feels anxious about seeing the doctor has higher-than-normal blood pressure during the actual appointment. The same study also revealed that the hypertension is much less when a nurse does the high blood pressure measurements during the appointment.
Other research done by the American Heart Association argues that some patients exhibit the opposite issue. Rather than “white coat hypertension,” they exhibit “masked hypertension”. Meaning they have normal blood pressure at the doctor’s office, but a higher level elsewhere. In either case, the doctor may recommend the use of a home blood pressure monitor to get an accurate reading.
Home Care Helps Seniors Manage their High Blood Pressure
It is not easy to monitor high blood pressure, especially for seniors. Rarely does hypertension have any outward symptoms, which means that sufferers have to find their own way to monitor and manage it. This often proves to be difficult for family caregivers who have to constantly remind their parent(s) to check their blood pressure and take their medication.
If your family has hired in-home care to help keep a senior loved one safe and well-cared for at home, the caregiver can be an important part of the hypertension management team. Professional in-home caregivers are able to:
- Gently remind and help loved ones to check and record blood pressure, as per doctor’s recommendations;
- Pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy;
- Provide medication reminders to encourage loved ones to stay on routine;
- Report possible side effects, such as dizziness and sleep problem;
- Assist with preparing a well balanced diet;
- Support and encourage your loved one’s exercise routines;
- Provide companionship.
AcePersonnel | Professional Caregivers for Seniors and Homecare | Vancouver and Surrey
Ace Personnel is a family owned and operated service founded in 1977 by Diane Anderson (“Mrs. A”). It began as a home-based business and has since been devoted to helping the local community with childcare and home care solutions. Mrs. A took great pride in the fact that she was able to help others through elderly care and nanny placements. She took time to get to know her each of her clients and as a result developed lasting relationships with many of them.Contact us today if you are looking for a professional caregiver or homecare for your loved one.