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Is There a Right and Wrong Way to Monitor Blood Pressure at Home?

September 6th, 2019

By: Linda Kunicki

If your aging relative is one of the 103 million Americans who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, research shows that monitoring blood pressure at home could help them to bring it under control. Keeping an eye on blood pressure at home can help the senior’s doctor determine if the treatment they’ve prescribed is working. It also can alert the older adult to a problem before it gets too serious. While monitoring blood pressure at home doesn’t sound terribly difficult, if it’s not done correctly, the readings may not be as accurate as they should be. Below are some tips that can ensure your older family member’s reading are accurate.

Before Checking, Do These Things

Before checking the older adult’s blood pressure, there are a few things they should do to get the most accurate reading, such as:

  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine 30 minutes before checking.
  • Don’t exercise within 30 minutes before the reading.
  • Have the senior empty their bladder.
  • Sit quietly for at least 5 minutes before taking blood pressure.

Check Twice Per Day

The Mayo Clinic recommends checking blood pressure twice per day:

  • Morning: Check blood pressure in the morning before the older adult has eaten or taken any medications. However, it should not be taken first thing upon waking up. Allow the senior to get up and get ready for their day before taking their blood pressure.
  • Evening: Choose a consistent time each evening to take the senior’s blood pressure.

The American Heart Association says to take two or three readings about one minute apart each time. Record the results each time. Some monitors have built in tracking or may allow you to upload the information to a website. Otherwise, you can simply write down the results.

Sit Properly

While taking their blood pressure, older adults should sit up straight in a chair. A dining room chair is ideal. Their feet should be placed flat on the floor without crossing the legs or ankles. The arm with the cuff on it should be supported on a table or counter that keeps the upper arm at heart level.

Senior care can assist your older family member with monitoring their blood pressure. A senior care provider can remind them when it is time to check their blood pressure. Senior care can also ensure the older adult doesn’t smoke or drink caffeine or alcohol within half an hour of the time they are supposed to measure blood pressure. In addition, a senior care provider can write down the measurement for the older adult.

Sources
https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2019/home-blood-pressure-monitoring.html?intcmp=AE-HEA-CND-BB-LL2-ART
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20047889

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN RIVER FOREST, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE LA GRANGE. CALL TODAY: 708-551-2500.