Managing Hypertension In Older Adults

The older a person gets, the more likely they are to develop high blood pressure. In fact, Healthline notes that the lifetime risk of hypertension for people between the ages 20 and 85 is 69% to 89%. This is mainly because, as you age, your body also undergoes physiological changes, including those in the vascular system. Arteries become stiffer and less elastic, causing your blood pressure to rise.

However, hypertension doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging. After all, there are several more factors that can lead to this — such as those relating to lifestyle, medication, and other comorbidities. This means if you change certain habits, you can prevent your condition from becoming worse. To keep your blood pressure under control here are some tips to follow:

Regularly See Your Doctor

Regularly seeing your doctor will let you know better how you can manage your condition. They can determine the stage and type of hypertension you have and suggest what lifestyle changes to make. For instance, if you have primary hypertension, which is when the condition has no identifiable cause, they can give you basic tips like exercising and taking prescription medication.

They may offer more pointers if you have secondary hypertension. WebMD describes this condition as a result of another ailment, such as kidney disease and thyroid problems. If this is the case, a doctor will also need to address the underlying condition to help manage hypertension.

Check the Coverage of Your Health Plan

Depending on the stage and type of your hypertension, the cost of medicine and consultations with different doctors can easily pile up. Fortunately, having good health insurance like Medicare can relieve you of much of the financial burden.

KelseyCare Advantage shows that Medicare Advantage plans offer you a big safety net as they include everything that Part A and B cover, but with additional perks that can help you manage your hypertension’s complications.

Some complications include blindness and hearing loss since high blood pressure can damage the delicate blood vessels in the eyes and ears. If these are problems you’re experiencing, Medicare Advantage can cover vision and hearing care.

Have a Healthy Diet

There are many types of food and drink that can increase your blood pressure, such as table salt, processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol. While you don’t need to completely eliminate these from your diet, you should reduce your consumption of these.

This post ‘How to Naturally Detoxify Your Body’ listed some foods that can naturally help your body and give you relief from illness. These are antioxidant-rich foods like strawberries, dark leafy greens, and dark chocolate. This is because antioxidants can relax the blood vessel muscles, making them less stiff. Other foods that can manage hypertension are citrus fruits, fatty fish like salmon, and carrots.

Staying hydrated is also helpful. This is because blood becomes thicker and more viscous when you’re dehydrated. It also results in other changes such as the kidneys releasing renin and the brain releasing vasopressin, both of which cause hypertension.

Manage Stress

The occasional stress can cause high blood pressure if you turn to unhealthy ways to manage it, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and overeating. However, chronic stress in itself can lead to hypertension. This is because your body produces hormones in response to stress, and these hormones cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow.

That said, keep your stress under control. Some stressors that older adults experience are changes in lifestyle due to retirement and the deterioration of physical abilities. To maintain your physical strength, you can start exercising regularly.

Meanwhile, adjusting to retirement may mean you feel lonely since you don’t get as much human interaction as before. Meet regularly or video chat with family and friends if you need companionship or make friends with your neighbors.

Hypertension may be common in older adults, but you don’t have to let it rule your life. As long as you see your doctor regularly and live a happy and healthy life, you shouldn’t see any symptoms. For more information do check out our other posts on Ponbee.