Management of Hypertension in Seniors | Best Practices
- Author Ian Rowe
- Published March 15, 2015
- Word count 501
Hypertension is a condition that affects more than 70 million adults across the United States. Unfortunately, a surprising majority of those affected by hypertension are seniors. Elderly patients suffering from hypertension experience abnormally high blood pressure, which can put a lot of strain on the heart. As such, it’s generally recommended for seniors with hypertension to have some kind of private home care service so they can reduce stress on their hearts and get the help they need with taking medications and completing everyday tasks. Furthermore, caretakers should be aware of the best hypertension management practices in seniors.
Generally, ACE inhibitors are among the best medications to give to seniors suffering from hypertension. This is because ACE inhibitors (along with ARBs) typically come with the least amount of serious side effects among elderly populations. Furthermore, ACE inhibitors and ARBs can reduce the likelihood of elderly hypertension patients developing diabetes, which is quite common among older hypertension patients.
If administered, ACE inhibitors should be combined with other hypertension medications for the maximum effect. The only drawback of using ACE inhibitors (other than possible side effects, such as cough) is that they’re not quite as effective in lowering blood pressure when compared to diuretics.
Changes in Lifestyle
In addition to medications, at home caretakers can also help seniors with hypertension change their lifestyle habits to help manage the condition. Specifically, the following techniques have been found to help reduce blood pressure and manage hypertension in seniors:
Increased physical activity
Changes in diet
Reduced alcohol intake
Because hypertension can be brought on by weight gain and a lack of exercise, seniors suffering from hypertension should consult with a doctor to determine how much physical activity is healthy for them. At that point, caretakers can assist seniors with daily exercise goals in addition to helping them with dietary changes. Specifically, cutting back on fatty and sugary foods can help to reduce blood pressure, as can reducing a senior’s alcohol intake.
These are just a few of the best practices that have been found (after years of medical studies and assessment) when it comes to managing hypertension in seniors. All caretakers should be aware of these management options so that they can provide the best level of at home care to clients dealing with hypertension or high blood pressure.
Caretakers should also be aware that, when it comes to senior home care of those with hypertension, diuretics can make all the difference as well. Specifically, diuretics are known to lower blood pressure, thus reducing the likelihood of a senior having a stroke or other heart-related problems down the road. Furthermore, in terms of cost, diuretics tend to be among the most affordable treatment and management options, making them a great choice for those without adequate insurance coverage.
One drawback of using diuretics that must be assessed by a doctor is that they can increase the likelihood for some patients to develop diabetes down the road.
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