How much do you really know about blood pressure? Most people know the target is 120 over 80. What do you know beyond that? Did you know that high blood pressure puts your dad at a higher risk of having a stroke, a heart attack, or an aneurysm? Here are the things you must know about blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Guidelines Changed in 2018
In 2018, the blood pressure guidelines changed. The goal now is to have a blood pressure reading that is less than 120 over 80. At 120 to 129 over less than 80 is slightly elevated. A reading of 130 to 139 over 80 to 89 is the first stage of high blood pressure. 140 or higher over 90 or higher is the second stage of high blood pressure. Anything over 180 over 120 is dangerous.
They were changed due to research that suggested even 120 over 80 could cause health issues. By making lifestyle changes earlier, there is a better chance of avoiding conditions associated with high blood pressure like aneurysms, heart attacks, and strokes.
Check Blood Pressure at Home, Too
If your dad’s blood pressure is slightly high, his doctor may recommend getting a blood pressure monitor for home use. Some people get nervous in the doctor’s office and may get a higher reading. In a home setting, it’s more likely to get an actual reading.
You should ask your dad’s doctor for a recommendation on which blood pressure monitor to purchase for home use. Keep a log of readings and note the time of day, what your dad had just been doing, and bring that log to the doctor.
Diet and Exercise Are Recommended for Lowering Blood Pressure
Diet and exercise are usually the primary recommendations for lowering blood pressure. Medications may be suggested if the blood pressure is dangerously high. He still needs to aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
He also needs to focus on a healthier diet. He should lower salt intake, avoid saturated fats, and cut out excess sugar. He should aim for a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, and lean proteins.
When you work full-time, getting your dad to the doctor for regular appointments may be a challenge. Don’t let scheduling issues keep your dad from taking care of his health. Caregivers can help schedule his appointments and drive him to the medical office. Senior care services go beyond transportation.
With a senior care professional, your dad has someone to help him cook healthy meals. He has a friend for companionship. He has someone to encourage him to get enough exercise. He also has someone to remind him to have his blood pressure checked or take his medications if they’re recommended. It takes one phone call to get started.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Fairfax, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.