AlzU Blog

Tips for Home Blood Pressure Monitoring for Alzheimer's Caregivers

It’s estimated that 70 million adults in the Unites States have high blood pressure or hypertension.  If your loved one has been diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension), you may have many questions and concerns about how to implement care at home. 

Here are some important tips from the American Heart Association about monitoring blood pressure at home:

•Home monitoring is NOT a substitute for regular office visits
•A record of readings taken over a period of time can provide your physician with a more accurate picture of your loved one’s blood pressure than just monitoring the blood pressure during office visits
•Be sure you know what the doctor’s goal is for the optimal blood pressure range
•Pre-hypertension= (top number (systolic) between 120 and 139 mm Hg OR bottom number (diastolic) between 80 and 89 mm Hg
•Hypertension= (systolic 140 mm Hg or above OR diastolic 90 mm Hg or above)
•Hypotension (low blood pressure) = (BP that is much lower than usual and which may be causing symptoms such as dizziness or light-headedness (systolic blood pressure is below 90 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure below 60 mm Hg)
•Observe for signs of postural hypotension (such as dizziness or light-headedness), which may be a side effect of the high blood pressure medication (antihypertensive medication)
•Signs of postural hypotension or postural changes in blood pressure include, weakness, dizziness, (which may or may not result in falls), sudden fall in blood pressure particularly after sitting or lying down
•Keep in mind that blood pressure readings at the physician’s office may result in false high readings due to the patient’s level of anxiety
•Keep an accurate written record of regular blood pressure monitoring at home to take with you to each office visit
•Make sure to record what your loved one’s activity entailed right before the blood pressure reading was taken
•Blood pressure levels can change throughout the day and can be temporarily influenced by factors such as, emotions, diet and specific types of medication
•Never change the dose, skip a dose or discontinue blood pressure medications for your loved one without first consulting with the prescribing physician

Who Should Have Blood Pressure Home Monitoring?
•Anyone with coronary artery disease
•Anyone with kidney disease
•Anyone with diabetes
•Elderly adults
•Anyone on medication that could alter blood pressure
•Anyone with a physician’s order for home monitoring
•Those with high risk for hypertension

Risk Factors for Hypertension

•African Americans
•Women over 65
•Family history of high blood pressure (hypertension)
•Advanced age
•Lack of physical activity
•Poor diet
•Overweight and obesity
•Drinking too much alcohol
•Smoking and stress are contributing factors for hypertension

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