May is National Blood Pressure Month. That makes it the perfect time to sit down with your family and talk about your mom’s health. She has high blood pressure, and you’re not always sure she does as her doctor recommends.
You want to get input from others. These are the questions to ask and points to discuss.
How High Is Her Blood Pressure?
How high is her blood pressure? Ideally, she wants it under 120 and under 80. If it’s in the 121 to 139 range, it’s high but not alarmingly so. If it’s over 140 and over 90, her doctor may be taking extra precautions.
What Steps Does Her Doctor Have Her Taking?
If your mom is overweight, her doctor probably recommended that she lose weight. The DASH diet is often recommended as it focuses on lowering salt intake and increasing her intake of fruits, vegetables, and seafood.
Your mom has to exercise more. She needs to go for walks and add in aerobic activities and strength training for a well-rounded exercise plan. Not only can this help her lower her blood pressure, but it also improves balance and stamina.
When blood pressure is extremely high, your mom may need to take medications. Some reduce the amount of fluid in her body. Others regulate the heart to prevent it from working as hard.
Have Those Steps Helped Any?
Your mom is taking steps to lower her blood pressure. Has losing weight, exercising more, and taking medications helped any? Is the diet manageable for her or does she struggle to make meals that meet her needs?
If those steps are helping, she needs people to encourage her to keep up the great work. If it’s not working, make sure she’s not giving up. Help her stay motivated. Ask her doctor if there are other things she should be doing.
Is She in Need of Home Care Services?
It may be time for your mom to have an elder care aide helping her with medication reminders. If she forgets to take her blood pressure medications, her caregiver is there to remind her. She won’t miss any more doses.
Your mom doesn’t feel confident driving to the doctor’s office for check-ups. You can have a caregiver available to drive her. She has company on shopping trips, errands, and dental cleanings too.
With elder care services, your mom has a caregiver to encourage her to go on walks. She even has someone to walk with to prevent her from feeling alone or self-conscious. Companionship services give her the confidence to go for long walks.
Make arrangements for the services she needs by calling an agency. Ask specifically about companion care services and medication reminders to help your mom manage her high blood pressure.