Hypertension is often called the “silent killer,” because it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. Although many of Bayside’s elderly may not feel the effects, this condition causes serious damage throughout the body. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, and more. On top of that, one study showed that lowering blood pressure seems to reduce dementia in elderly patients.
You may be familiar with the usual recommendations for controlling blood pressure. But when it comes to diet, there’s new information available about protein intake. For people with hypertension, the amount of protein they eat is important, but where that protein comes from also seems to have a big impact.
Hypertension in the Elderly
Seniors are more likely to experience hypertension, but as a population, they’re behind the ball when it comes to addressing the problem. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, roughly 65 percent of people over the age of 60 have hypertension, yet only 27 percent of them have good blood pressure control.
Hypertension doesn’t directly cause discomfort or pain. Because so many of the other health issues that elderly people suffer from alter their lives in significant ways, it can be tempting to discount the importance of treating high blood pressure. But research shows that antihypertensive treatment reduces the risk of illness and death, even in people over 80 years old.
Simply put, you don’t have to be young to benefit from treating hypertension. Seniors are healthier and live longer when their blood pressure is under control.
Protein Intake and Why Nutrition Matters
According to a research study from the American Heart Association, diet can significantly impact your risk of developing high blood pressure. Specifically, a person’s protein intake seems to have a big impact.
In the study, the people who ate the most protein and the people who ate the least amount were at the highest risk for developing hypertension. It seems that moderation is important, and not only in the total amount of protein eaten.
Researchers also looked at what kinds of food people got their protein from. They counted the servings they got from the following sources: whole grains, processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes. People who got their protein from the widest range of sources had the lowest risk of developing high blood pressure.
Getting the recommended amount of protein is a good start, but people who get that protein from many different foods have the best results.
Having enough protein in their diet is especially important for seniors. This study suggests that it’s also important to make sure older people get that protein from a wide variety of foods.
What Else Can You Do To Reduce the Risk of Hypertension?
There are some risk factors for hypertension that can’t be changed. According to the National Institute on Aging, the odds of having high blood pressure increase as you age, especially after 55 years old. Additionally, women are more likely to develop it and Black patients are at greater risk. These factors are permanent, and they may put your loved one in a higher risk category.
But that doesn’t mean you’re helpless against this “silent killer.” There are effective ways you can push back against the odds. As well as seeking a variety of sources for your protein intake, health experts recommend taking the following steps:
- Exercise regularly. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight. Even losing a small amount of weight can improve blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet. Getting a balanced diet of grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and heart-healthy oils can lower your blood pressure.
- Reduce table salt intake. As people age, their bodies become more sensitive to sodium and how it affects their blood pressure.
- Get high-quality sleep. It’s important to get enough sleep. If a medical condition, such as sleep apnea, is interfering with your sleep, seek medical support for your problem.
- Drink less alcohol. Shoot for no more than two drinks a day for men, and only one drink a day for women.
- Reduce your stress. Dealing with stress through meditation, exercise, breathing exercises, or life changes can help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
- If you smoke, quit. High blood pressure is only one of the ways smoking negatively impacts your health.
David York Agency Home Healthcare Can Help Seniors in Bayside
At the David York Home Healthcare Agency, our caregivers understand the importance of helping your loved one maintain the connections and activities that bring them joy. For information about how we can help support seniors to live their best lives, contact us today!
DYA understands the many challenges and risks faced by the aging and elderly and are dedicated to providing care to support them through all of those ups and down. At David York Home Healthcare Agency, extraordinary service is what sets us apart from other companies in Bayside that provide in-home healthcare services.
DYA we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. Whatever your care needs, we are there for you, always striving to exceed your expectations. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (718) 376-7755. A free phone consultation can help you determine what services would meet your needs. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.