High blood pressure in Elderly
Wow, we have come quite a long way to this final chapter. However before I end these chronicles, I would like to mention a special group of people that are sometimes neglected, this set of people are “The Elderly”. Everyone sure wants to grow old and live long, therefore it is very wise to show the elderly some respect and also help them maintain a high quality of life. This is the reason why i would be looking at the often neglected categories of hypertensives which are the Geriatric hypertensives.
Right from medical school days, I have learnt that anyone that is 65 years above is considered elderly. You might ask, why do they need help? And what is so special about them? It is important to note that most of the elderly people usually have one disease or the other. Just like a machine undergoes wear and tear, so does the human body. The elderly are not as strong as they used to be when they were quite young and agile. Some of them have dementia coupled with memory loss, thereby making it difficult for them to be drug compliant especially with their hypertensive medications.
Generally, elderly people should not be left alone for too long as they would most likely need help from time to time. In the more developed countries, there are elderly homes available that are equipped with the right facilities and personnel to take proper care of the elderly.
Unfortunately we do not have so much of these elderly homes in Nigeria and we find that a lot of really old people are most often neglected with deteriorating health conditions. Monitoring the nutrition of the elderly person is very important as they should get proper foods to enable an improved quality of life. To help to really monitor the nutrition or diet of your elderly loved one, it is advisable to employ a nutritionist and also a dedicated house keeper to cater and care for the elderly.
When talking about their nutrition, they should take diets rich in vitamins and minerals, a lot of fruits and fresh vegetables and diets low in salt to help reduce high blood pressure. Of course they should also adopt some beneficial lifestyle changes as we have mentioned in earlier chapters. This would include reduction in alcohol intake, quit smoking and exercising (although older people are generally not as strong as the young ones so the exercise should not be too vigorous to harm them)
Known hypertensive elderly folks should be properly monitored concerning their hypertensive medications and reminded in cases where they forget. As said earlier a lot of elderly people usually have more than one health conditions therefore their medications should be properly reviewed by the doctors to prevent drug interactions.
At this point I would like to end this wonderful expose by saying it has been a pleasure discussing all about hypertension. I sure hope these series of write-ups have been very helpful. Thank you and stay blessed