Lower Blood Pressure to Reduce Risk of Memory Loss
One of the things many family caregivers worry about in their aging relatives is memory loss. Although your first thoughts might jump to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, there are actually many things that can lead to memory loss. A recent study recently revealed that having high blood pressure is one of the things that can cause memory loss.
The SPRINT Study
The study, called SPRINT, was a large, randomized study paid for by the United States government. Previous studies indicated that elevated systolic (the top number) pressure before the age of 50 significantly increases a person’s chances of developing dementia. So, the researchers involved in the SPRINT study wanted to determine if reducing blood pressure could also reduce the risks of memory loss.
The results of the study showed that people who lower their blood pressure to the normal range of 120/80 cut their risks of having mild cognitive impairment by 15 percent. And, it doesn’t take long to see benefits. The study took place over a 5-year period. The participants were treated for high blood pressure for an average of three years and followed for 5 years.
Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
In addition to the possibility of reducing risks of memory loss, lowering blood pressure also reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. Some things that can help your aging relative to lower their blood pressure are:
- Regular Exercise: Older adults should try to exercise about 150 hours per week. That’s just 30 minutes on 5 days of the week. But, it’s not enough to exercise just until blood pressure goes down. If the senior stops exercising, their blood pressure could go back up.
- Reduce Sodium: Try to reduce your aging relative’s sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg daily. Experts say it’s even better to reduce it to 1,500 mg per day or less.
- More Potassium: Potassium can help the body to get rid of some of the sodium in the body, so adding foods high in potassium to your aging relative’s diet could help them to lower blood pressure. Foods that contain potassium include bananas, leafy greens, beans, and others.
- Stop Smoking: If your aging relative smokes, encourage them to talk to the doctor about ways they can quit.
Senior care providers can also assist older adults with lowering their blood pressure. Senior care providers can cook healthy meals that are low in sodium and contain potassium-rich foods. A senior care provider can also help your family member to exercise by going for walks with them or supervising while they exercise at home, so they feel safer. If the older adult smokes, a senior care provider can support them while they try to quit, providing distractions when the urge to smoke strikes.
If you are considering senior care in Norwalk, CT for a senior loved one, please contact the caring staff at Executive Home Care in Stratford CT. Executive Care is operated by individuals who have dedicated their lives to providing quality in-home care services. Call today: 203-690-1963.Back