Memory loss that occurs later in life can be tricky. It’s easy to dismiss occasional forgetfulness as a common sign of old age, but recent research suggests there may be a connection between high blood pressure and temporary memory lapses.
Vascular Dementia & Blood Flow
Vascular dementia, the second most common type of dementia in seniors, can be aggravated by a change in blood flow to the brain that’s related, in part, to high blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can also increase the effects of vascular dementia that’s sometimes experienced following a stroke by further decresing blood flow to memory-related brain cells.
Older adults may find it difficult to manage their blood pressure and overall health on their own. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Studies suggest uncontrolled high blood pressure during middle age increases the risk of developing some form of dementia during the senior years. Further complicating matters is the fact that high blood pressure often goes undiagnosed and untreated for years. Memory loss due to hypertension alone develops over time, often not presenting noticeable memory issues until old age, when memory lapses are more commonly considered a sign of Alzheimer’s or written off as part of the normal aging process. Early diagnosis and proper treatment of high blood pressure in middle age is crucial to preventing memory loss later in life. High blood pressure is often managed with:
- Beta blockers and similar medications
• Weight loss and dietary changes
• A reduction in sodium intake
Seniors can benefit from the help of professional caregivers with training in methods designed to boost cognitive health and overall wellbeing. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. Vancouver families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Blood Pressure & Age
Blood pressure tends to naturally increase with age, which may be another reason for the connection between elevated blood pressure and memory problems associated with age. Seniors can compensate for this natural increase in blood pressure by adopting or maintaining healthy lifestyle habits that include exercise and a well-balanced diet.
Having high blood pressure doesn’t automatically translate to memory loss. New findings on the possible link between hypertension and memory issues provide a good reason to start a conversation about blood pressure with your loved one and his or her doctor. You should also encourage your parent to get regular blood pressure checks, which are offered for free at many pharmacies.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in-care. Vancouver, British Columbia, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634.