Why You Should Check Your Blood Pressure NOW

blood pressure

Abnormal blood pressure is among the most common conditions senior adults experience. It is also a key risk factor for heart disease. Blood pressure dysregulation doesn’t often have associated symptoms, so it can be difficult to catch. But the good news is, high blood pressure is treatable and preventable once diagnosed.

If you have high blood pressure, certain tools, like a medical alert system, can make you feel more secure. Seeing a doctor for a blood pressure measurement is the first step toward figuring out what support you need. 

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force with which your blood flows against the walls of your arteries. Your heart pumps blood into your arteries every time it beats. A typical heart beats about 60 to 100 times per minute, measuring out to approximately 100,000 beats per day[1]. Each beat pushes blood against the artery walls. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure is consistently too high[2]

The first thing a doctor does during an appointment is check your blood pressure. The top number on a blood pressure reading is your systolic blood pressure. It measures the force of your blood hitting artery walls while the heart’s ventricles squeeze. The bottom number on a blood pressure reading is your diastolic blood pressure. It measures the force of your blood hitting artery walls while the heart relaxes and the ventricles fill with blood. 

To that end, your doctor is reading two different blood pressure measurements at your appointments: systolic and diastolic. The following tables report normal, elevated, Stage 1 hypertension, and Stage 2 hypertension blood pressure readings for each type of blood pressure.  

Systolic Blood Pressure

  • Normal: <120 mm Hg
  • Elevated: <120-129 mm Hg
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: 130-139 mm Hg
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: ≥ 140 mm Hg

Diastolic Blood Pressure

  • Normal: <80 mm Hg
  • Elevated: <80 mm Hg
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: 80-89 mm Hg
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: ≥90 mm Hg

Why Should Elderly Adults Be Concerned with Blood Pressure Changes?

Aging causes all sorts of changes in your body and overall health. One of those changes occurs in your blood pressure. As you age, your blood pressure generally increases. Your arteries get stiffer and thus drive up your blood pressure. This hardening and stiffening of the arteries are called atherosclerosis, and it can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. 

Since seniors have an increased risk of high blood pressure, it is important to be aware of potential health complications associated with the condition. However, it is also important that you regularly see a doctor for blood pressure readings so that you can stay on top of potential treatment plans. 

Why You Should Test Your Pressure Often

Blood pressure measurements can help reveal larger health problems. If you and your care team have an understanding of your normal blood pressure ranges, you can easily identify when something changes and begin to treat the issue.

  • There are rarely symptoms. High blood pressure is often called “the silent killer” because it, for the most part, does not present symptoms. The CDC reports that around 30% of people who have high blood pressure don’t even know that they have the condition. It is imperative for senior citizens, especially, to seek out regular blood pressure readings. Otherwise, it is difficult to tell whether you have the condition. You can also purchase a home blood pressure monitor if you would like to take more regular readings. Some people feel nervous at the doctor’s office, and those nerves can drive up their blood pressure. The option of home monitoring relieves anxious people of that potential mis-read. 

  • Risk for high blood pressure increases with age. There are several factors that could increase someone’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Some of those factors include having a comorbidity, like obesity or diabetes, while others are related to lifestyle choices, like smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much salt, and not being active. One way to reduce blood pressure is taking a daily walk. You might consider donning an On-the-Go Wrist Watch Medical Alert + GPS + Pedometer. Genetics can also influence someone’s risk of high blood pressure. As mentioned above, age also plays a role in this condition. Older adults’ arteries stiffen and become less flexible. The rigidity increases pressure within the vessels. A history of healthy blood pressure does not matter as much once you start getting older. Regular blood pressure readings can help you stay on top of any changes.

  • Risks associated with proactive/preemptive treatment are very low. Some medical professionals have reservations about treating high blood pressure in older adults. Low blood pressure is associated with dizziness and lightheadedness, both of which can increase risk of falling. However, a study by SPRINT MIND shows that blood pressure control did not increase rate of injury-inducing falls[3]. Additionally, blood pressure control did not raise the patients’ chances of developing orthostatic hypotension. Though some trials revealed that intensive blood pressure treatment did present more acute kidney injuries and electrolyte imbalances, there were comparable cases of serious health events. Once you have an understanding of your blood pressure, you can take steps to treat potential conditions without worry of adverse health effects.

  • Lower blood pressure is great for brain health. Keeping your blood pressure on the lower side could boost your brain health. The SPRINT MIND study reveals that patients with a controlled systolic blood pressure experience lower rates of mild cognitive impairment, which is a forerunner for dementia. Patients who underwent intensive blood pressure treatment had fewer lesions on their brains’ white matter. These lesions are associated with thinking and memory issues. The lack of lesions indicates that blood pressure control could be an effective way to preserve brain function. For older adults, who are at an increased risk of both high blood pressure and cognitive impairment, this development is especially significant. Regular blood pressure readings could help you manage blood pressure levels and improve brain function.

If you do have high blood pressure, your treatment plan could include a variety of strategies to lower your blood pressure. You can help manage high blood pressure by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress, decreasing caffeine and alcohol intake, and quitting smoking. Your doctor might recommend blood pressure medication based on your overall health.

Fall Support for People with High Blood Pressure 

If you currently have blood pressure issues, or a history of blood pressure issues, a medical alert system – especially one with fall detection – makes sense. How can these life-saving alert systems help you? Let’s dive in. 

High blood pressure can lead to a myriad of health issues. With a button alarm, you can have on-the-spot access to a crucial emergency response. Here’s how it works: If you fall or have another type of health episode, you’ll press the button on your button alarm. This connects you with a dedicated agent. These highly trained and certified agents are available to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Alert1 Command Centers. 

That agent will send immediate help to you and stay on the line with you until first responders arrive. At that point, your care will transfer to emergency responders and the Alert1 agent will work on contacting your loved ones to update them about your status. You will decide who to include in your Circle of Care, including family members, neighbors, members of your care team, or anyone you choose. 

Fall detection technology allows you to follow the same protocol, but you don’t even need to press the button. Fall detection sensors within the alarm pendant sense your fall and automatically connect you with an agent. Seniors who live alone or suffer from chronic health conditions should consider choosing a panic button alarm that has fall detection technology.

Affordable Protection: Emergency Medical Alert Options

Alert1 panic button alarms are affordable and comfortable. You will never pay for multiple button pushes or “false alarms.” Plus, it’s as comfortable as wearing a pendant or a belt clip, except this accessory could save your life!

First, you’ll choose whether you need In-Home or On-the-Go coverage. In-Home coverage works up to 600 feet around your home base. On-the-Go button alerts go where you go. If you would like both, you can pick the In-Home + On-the-Go + Fall Detection option. Once you decide what kind of coverage you need, you’ll get to decide what kind of wearable option you’d like:

  • Wristband
  • Pendant
  • Belt clip

You can also carry your button alarm in your pocket. A medical alert watch with built in SOS button is another great way to prioritize safety. It looks just like other sport watches and will even count your steps! Figuring out how you’ll style your medical alert is fun. You can express your personal style while also feeling a great sense of comfort. 

High blood pressure shouldn’t keep you from living your fullest life. And if you decide you’d benefit from a medical alert system, you can always have the peace of mind that you will have 24/7/365 support any time you need it. Stay safe and healthy!

 

 

 

 

 



[1] American Heart Association. 2017. Heart Basics. Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Heart Basics.

[2] Holland, Kimberly. 2021, Oct. 27. Everything You Need to Know About High Bloor Pressure (Hypertension). Healthline.com. Everything You Need to Know About High Bloor Pressure (Hypertension).

[3] SPRINT Research Group. 2019, Jan. 28. Effect of Intensive vs Standard Blood Pressure Control on Probable Dementia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network. Effect of Intensive vs Standard Blood Pressure Control on Probable Dementia: A Randomized Clinical Trial.