Does Napping Lower Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a risk factor for serious conditions like stroke and heart disease. If your aging relative has high blood pressure, you may be looking for ways to help them lower it. A new study indicates that taking a nap in the afternoon may be as effective as other kinds of lifestyle changes. The study involved 212 participants who were an average age of 62. Their systolic (the top number) blood pressure was an average of 130 mm Hg. The researchers looked at how napping influenced blood pressure numbers by comparing the numbers of those who napped to those who didn’t. The data showed that people who napped had lowered their systolic blood pressure by around 5 mm Hg. That may not seem like much but reducing blood pressure by just 2 mm Hg can lower the risk of having a heart attack by 10 percent.

The findings of the study suggest an easy way to help seniors lower their blood pressure. However, that doesn’t mean your aging relative should take long naps as it may make it hard for them to sleep at night. Of course, napping isn’t the only way to help older adults lower blood pressure. Here are some other lifestyle changes that can make a difference.

Take a Daily Walk

Experts recommend that all people get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Taking a walk every day can help them to achieve this goal. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for older adults because it is low impact and generally safe for all people. And, it’s free! On days that the weather is too bad to walk outdoors, your aging relative can walk indoors at a mall.

Senior care can help older adults to walk every day. If the older adult has mobility problems, a senior care provider can offer them a steadying arm to lean on. They can also offer companionship and someone to chat with, making the walk more fun.

Skip the Salt

Adults should eat no more than 2,300 mg of salt per day. Ideally, they should limit the amount to 1,500 mg. Instead of using salt to flavor foods, use herbs and spices. Also, it’s important to know how to read food labels as many foods, like condiments and sauces, contain high levels of sodium.

A senior care provider can prepare healthy meals that contain less salt. Senior care providers can even take your family member grocery shopping and help them make good food choices.

Keep Stress to a Minimum

Having persistent stress may be one of the factors that influences high blood pressure. Older adults can experience stress because of chronic health conditions, financial difficulties, and the loss of family members and friends. They may also worry about the future and what would happen if they became sick and injured when alone.

A senior care provider can help to reduce the stress in your loved one’s life. Having a senior care provider who regularly comes to the home and helps with whatever is needed can reduce stress.

Sources
https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20190307/an-afternoon-nap-may-lower-your-blood-pressure
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318716.php
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20046974

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN CLAYTON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.

are dads memory problems a sign of something bigger

Are Dad’s Memory Problems Normal?

Senior Care in Clayton NC: Are Dad’s Memory Problems Normal?

Senior Care in Clayton NC: Are Dad’s Memory Problems Normal?

Most people expect their aging parents to have some memory slips as they get older. They expect “senior moments” where the older adult forgets where they’ve put their glasses only to find them sitting on the top of their head. Or, being unable to recall a word, but having it “on the tip of their tongue.” Noticing these memory problems might make you wonder if they are normal or if there’s a bigger problem, like dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Understanding Memory

Experts say that memory occurs in three stages:

  • Encoding: This stage occurs when a person encounters new information. It’s the discovery phase.
  • Consolidation: After taking information in, the brain processes the information and stores it.
  • Retrieval: This is the recall phase when a person remembers something they learned.

When someone has trouble with the retrieval phase, they forget a piece of information. That’s when you might start to worry about your parent. The problem is that when you notice these memory lapses, you may become attuned to them and pay them more attention than necessary. This can make you worry even when your parent’s memory loss is normal.

Age-Related Memory Loss vs. Dementia

It can be hard to tell if your parent’s memory loss is simply age-related or if there’s cause to worry. The National Institute on Aging offers the following tips for recognizing what is normal and what is not:

  • Normal: Occasionally using poor judgement and making a bad decision.
  • Dementia: Frequently making bad decisions.

 

  • Normal: Forgetting to make a monthly payment.
  • Dementia: Regularly having difficulty handling monthly finances.

 

  • Normal: Temporarily forgetting what day it is but remembering later.
  • Dementia: Being unable to tell others what the date is or what year it is.

 

  • Normal: Occasionally forgetting a word.
  • Dementia: Having difficulty holding a conversation.

 

  • Normal: Sometimes losing items.
  • Dementia: Frequently losing things and being unable to locate them.

If you notice memory loss in your parent and it worries you, encourage them to see a doctor. The doctor can conduct tests to determine the extent of the memory problem and whether it could be dementia.

When an older adult is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, senior care can help them to stay safe at home and continue to live as independently as possible. Senior care providers can monitor your parent to make certain they don’t make a decision that could harm them. A senior care provider can also assist the older adult to pay their bills, make healthy meals, and take care of their home. Senior care providers can also help them with things they forget, such as reminding them to take medications or of an upcoming appointment.

Sources

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/do-memory-problems-always-mean-alzheimers-disease
https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/features/is-your-memory-normal#1
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046326

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN CLAYTON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.