When someone is diagnosed with high blood pressure, the doctor may recommend that they take an active role in managing their condition by checking their blood pressure at home. Keeping an eye on blood pressure can help the doctor to determine if treatment is effective.
It can also provide early information about the need for a change in treatment. Furthermore, it might be a motivator for the person to take better care of themselves. If your aging relative has been advised to monitor their blood pressure at home, you may be uncertain of when or how to measure it. Below are some tips that may help.
Choose the Right Kind of Monitor
If you’re unsure what kind of monitor will work best for your aging relative, ask the doctor for advice. There are several kinds available. According to the Mayo Clinic, digital monitors that use a cuff fitted to the upper part of the arm provide the most accurate readings. If the older adult’s upper arms are large, making it hard to find a cuff that fits, or if using a cuff on the upper arm causes pain, the doctor may suggest that they use a cuff fitted to their lower arm. Avoid using devices that claim to measure blood pressure using the wrist or a finger as they are not recommended by the American Heart Association. Also, be aware that measurements taken using public machines like the ones in some pharmacies sometimes don’t provide accurate measurements.
Take Blood Pressure Twice Daily
Take the first measurement in the morning before the older adult has taken any medications or eaten. However, don’t do it the moment they wake up. Allow them to get dressed and prepare for the day before taking a reading. The second reading should be in the evening. Try to take readings at about the same time each day.
Know the Goal
If you’re not sure what a good blood pressure for your aging relative is, ask the doctor what the goal is. According to current guidelines, a good blood pressure reading is lower than 120/80. Blood pressure is considered high when the top number is between 130 and 139 or the low number is between 80 and 89. If the upper number is above 180 or the lower number is above 120, the senior is having a hypertensive crisis and should receive immediate medical attention.
Home care can assist seniors with checking their blood pressure. They can remind the older adult when it is time to take a reading. A home care provider can also assist them with putting the blood pressure cuff on. If the older adult does not see well or has trouble with the joints in their hands, a home care provider can write down the reading in the senior’s blood pressure log. Home care providers can also remind your loved one when they need to take medication, ensuring they do not miss a dose and allowing for better management of the condition.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Northbrook, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.