What Causes High Blood Pressure in the Elderly?

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Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a serious health concern that must never be ignored. When left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart failure, vision loss, and ruptured blood vessels, which are just a few of the reasons seniors and their caregivers should spend some time familiarizing themselves with some of the most common causes of high blood pressure. 

Alcohol & Tobacco Use

Having the occasional drink with dinner isn’t an issue for most seniors, but older adults need to keep a close eye on how much alcohol they consume. Drinking more than a few servings of alcohol per day can negatively impact almost every part of the cardiovascular system.  Using tobacco products is another major risk factor for hypertension. Older adults should avoid tobacco at all costs if they want to boost their heart health and prevent high blood pressure. 


When seniors put on weight, their cardiovascular systems must work much harder. Over time, this increases the risk of high blood pressure and many other medical conditions. The most effective way to lose weight is to follow a strict diet that focuses on nutrient-dense foods.  Two of the best options for seniors with obesity are the DASH and Mediterranean diets. Both of these diets are filled with nutritious foods like fresh fish, leafy green vegetables, healthy oils, legumes, and whole grains. These diets also emphasize portion control and limiting caloric intake. Professional caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for seniors who need to lose weight. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.


Type 2 diabetes is closely tied to obesity as well as high blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, around 80 percent of all diabetics have hypertension as well. Diabetes causes glucose levels to fluctuate by quite a bit, which can damage the arteries and heart.  Much like obesity, the best way to treat type 2 diabetes is to follow a strict diet. Diabetic seniors must avoid any foods that result in glucose or insulin fluctuations, including sugary sodas, sweet treats, and simple carbohydrates such as white bread.  Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Arlington seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Kidney Disease

Researchers are still trying to figure out the connection between kidney disease and high blood pressure, and the experts aren’t sure if hypertension causes kidney disease or if it’s the other way around. The kidneys filter waste out of the blood, and the blood vessels can become damaged when that waste isn’t removed. The kidneys must also work much harder when an individual has high blood pressure.  Staying at a healthy weight and exercising a few times a week can drastically reduce the risk of kidney disease and high blood pressure. The American Kidney Fund also suggests seniors should stick to a diet that’s low in salt and fat if they have weak kidneys or a family history of kidney disease.  For seniors who find it challenging to manage their blood pressure on their own, professional caregivers can provide the encouragement they need to make lasting lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Arlington families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (817) 591-1580.


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