The connection between blood pressure and dementia in seniors
May is National Blood Pressure Awareness Month, and 2020 is bringing a different perspective to healthy senior living. With connections between high blood pressure and dementia on the rise, seniors are being urged to take new precautions by medical experts. To help those within independent living retirement communities understand all of the factors surrounding this common chronic condition, Ecumenical Retirement Community is highlighting what seniors can do to maintain their health and keep aging complications like cognitive decline and dementia at bay.
How high blood pressure correlates to dementia
According to agingcare.com, nearly half of American adults are diagnosed with high blood pressure every year. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association reported in March of this year that over five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. Experts believe they have identified a clear correlation between these two groups of seniors, after multiple studies conducted over the past several years focused on a possible connection. The studies found that people with hypertension, a term for high blood pressure, are more likely to develop cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s because of its negative effects on the body’s organs. In rare cases, hypotension, or low blood pressure, can lead to similar risks. But, more importantly, it is when that hypertension or irregular blood pressure pattern first began that can make all the difference in cognitive health as a senior.
Blood pressure patterns to be aware of
What every study linking hypertension and dementia has shown is that the overall lifelong pattern of an individual’s blood pressure is crucial to understanding cognitive health as a senior. Those who develop high blood pressure during the middle stages of their life are much more susceptible to Alzheimer’s decades later in life. But while most middle-aged adults who have hypertension at a younger age are likely to always have hypertension, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken.
What seniors can do to stabilize their blood pressure
With this new information about the possible link between high blood pressure and cognitive decline, seniors can take precautions early to fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s. There are several ways that seniors can maintain healthy blood pressure and lower hypertension while aging. Doctors and experts recommend taking advantage of the recreational opportunities available on campus at independent living retirement communities as a resident. The CDC suggests taking a brisk walk a few times a week, as well as eating a well-balanced meal low in sodium. Maintaining a healthy BMI and avoiding alcohol are also recommended. Of course, having a regular check-up with a physician to help monitor blood pressure will help to document any changes, concerns, and progress.
Ecumenical Retirement Community provides its residents with a variety of memory care services and dementia care homes for those who may need them. As with all independent living retirement communities in Pennsylvania, ERC recognizes that dementia and memory loss of loved ones can be a difficult stage of aging. Our compassionate staff is dedicated to any long-term care needs of our residents and strives to provide one of the best retirement communities for seniors living in the area. To learn more about our services, please visit our website.