May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month and if your senior has been avoiding anything to do with keeping her blood pressure under control, that needs to change. Understanding the different complications that can arise if she continues to avoid controlling her blood pressure can help your senior to finally do what she needs to do in order to be as healthy as possible.
Arteries harden when cholesterol, plaque, and fat build up along the arterial walls. Over time, these substances become harder and restrict the motion in the blood vessels, which is why they’re said to become hardened. The more that these blood vessels clog up, the harder it is for blood to circulate through your senior’s body. That causes blood pressure to go up even more and increases her risk of stroke and heart attack.
An Enlarged Heart
If high blood pressure continues to go untreated, the heart has to beat harder in order to keep blood flowing. Eventually the heart grows bigger because it’s working more. This causes the heart to work too hard, thins the walls of the heart, and can lead to heart failure or heart attack. Your senior may experience shortness of breath and difficulty engaging in daily activities.
A stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted in the brain, either by a clot or by a ruptured blood vessel. High blood pressure greatly increases the risk of a stroke for your senior. As blood pressure gets worse, weakened blood vessels also have more pressure put upon them and they risk failing. Reducing blood pressure and keeping it under control is the first step in avoiding a stroke.
High blood pressure affects every part of your senior’s body, including the blood vessels in her eyes. If she’s not getting regular eye exams, it can be difficult for her to notice some of the vision changes that come along with high blood pressure. Over time, damaged blood vessels in her eyes can give way, leading to everything from short-term vision issues and even blindness.
As your elderly family member’s body deals with high blood pressure, that can place significant strain on many of her major organs, especially the kidneys. Your senior’s kidneys are all about removing waste from the body. They do that by using water in the blood and throughout the body to flush waste. That can put too much strain on the kidneys, eventually causing damage that becomes irreparable.
Dealing with high blood pressure on a daily basis may not be as complicated as your senior fears, especially if she has the right help. Home care assistance can remind her to eat a healthy diet and to move around as much as recommended for her health. Elder care providers can also be alert to signs of bigger health problems so that you and your senior’s doctors are aware of what’s going on. Home care assistance can also help your senior to get to her appointments when necessary. Avoiding blood pressure issues doesn’t make them go away