May is National Blood Pressure Education Month.
It’s the perfect time for you and your senior loved one to review how your senior loved one can check their blood pressure at home and the best way to get accurate results. Seniors with high blood pressure should be regularly monitoring their blood pressure because a change in blood pressure can indicate other health problems. Elder care at home usually means having a trained care provider come to your senior loved one’s home. That care provider can be a big help in taking your senior parent’s blood pressure and keeping track of the results.
Some tips to help seniors get an accurate blood pressure reading at home are:
Prepare 30 Minutes In Advance
One thing that seniors should do to get an accurate blood pressure reading is nothing. Seniors shouldn’t smoke, exercise, eat, drink, or do anything strenuous for at least 30 minutes before they take a blood pressure reading. Activity, food, drinks, smoking, and other things can all have an impact on the reading. Tracing blood pressure readings needs to be done carefully to make sure the results are providing a picture of your senior loved one’s overall health.
Take Readings At the Same Time Every Day
It’s also important that your senior parent take blood pressure readings at the same time of the day each day. If the readings aren’t taken at the same time of the day the results can’t be compared daily to get an accurate idea of what your senior loved one’s normal daily blood pressure is. Set a reminder for when your senior loved one should take their blood pressure reading each day. Or, have the elder care provider who comes in to work with your senior loved one take the reading at the same time each day.
Remove Clothing Or Wear A Short Sleeve Shirt To Take Readings
Blood pressure readings that are taken over clothing may not be accurate. Your senior loved one should remove their shirt or sweater or wear a short-sleeved shirt so that they will get the most accurate reading possible. If it’s wintertime and your senior loved one has a tendency to get cold you or a care provider should turn the heat up a little about fifteen minutes before taking the reading because the sudden shock of cold can affect the results of the reading.
Take A Couple Of Readings And Record All Of The Results
Each time that your senior loved one takes their blood pressure they should do two or three readings with a space of one to two minutes in between. Then they should record all of the results. Taken together those readings will show your senior loved one’s doctor a more thorough picture of your senior parent’s blood pressure. Your senior loved one should have a little notebook or pad to write down their readings each day. Tech-savvy seniors may also want to track the numbers in their phone.