As a family caregiver for your aging loved one, you might already be vigilant about memory loss worrying about the possibility of your senior developing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. If you start to notice that your loved one is showing signs of memory loss, such as losing their keys, struggling to remember names, or telling you the same story a couple of times on the same day, you do not necessarily need to start worrying immediately about dementia. There are many different issues and conditions that can contribute to the loss of memory, one of which is hypertension.
Some of the ways that you can help protect your parents’ memory through managing hypertension include:
• Make sure that they visit the doctor on a proper schedule and get blood pressure screenings at each visit. Mention any memory issues you have noticed recently so that the doctor is aware of your concern and can discuss the potential with you.
• Ask the doctor what a health blood pressure reading should be for your parents and how far off of that they are so that you can gain perspective on how much they need to change in order to be at a safer point.
• Modify their diet to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, including lowering sodium intake and decreasing consumption of saturated fats, red meat, and processed foods.
• Encourage higher levels of physical activity on a regular basis. This not only promotes a healthier weight and helps to lower blood pressure, it also encourages stronger and more efficient blood flow, reducing the changes of blood clots.