Healthy Aging For Baby Boomers

Blood Pressure Is Critical To Watch As We Age

Special Blood Pressure Concerns as We Age Less than 40% of those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure actually have it under control.

How do you get your high blood pressure under control especially if you are over 55? Are there any concerns over low blood pressure when we age? One of the best ways to control your high blood pressure is to check it frequently.

Just exactly how often is necessary for you to check your blood pressure is something that your health care provider will need to determine. There are many ways to accomplish blood pressure checks. Many health care shops carry blood pressure kits that you can purchase so you can check your own blood pressure at home. Your health care provider will demonstrate how to do this.

There are quite a few grocery chains that offer blood pressure monitoring machines (these are not as accurate but can indicate when it is elevated and you should have it professionally checked). Many churches are offering a staff nurse for congregational health care needs and blood pressure screenings dates are usually on the church calendar.

Another way to keep high blood pressure under control is to faithfully take all medications that are prescribed for you in the correct amount and at the proper times. Taking the time to make a medication journal may help you to remember when you need to take the medication and also be a record for if you have already taken the medication already or not. Keep this journal near where you store the medication so you will remember to record when you take it.

Make sure to record any changes your medical provider makes in dosage or how frequent you are to take it. This is a good place to record any special instruction that your doctor or pharmacist instructs regarding your medication so you can refer back to the instructions if you need to.

Another helpful way to monitor you blood pressure is to record any symptoms you may experience while taking the medicine so that your health care team can read about them and it will be easier for you to remember when you had the symptoms and what exactly you experienced. Sometimes we forget these details by the time we are at medical appointments.

When your blood pressure is taken at a medical facility there are two numbers that are registered.   

Healthy Aging Exercise

Improving the quality of life in aging adults should be the priority of families, doctors, and health providers. Encouraging healthy aging means encouraging healthier lifestyles. Healthy lifestyles should begin long before a person begins the aging process. Learning to eat a healthy diet, not smoking, limiting your intake of alcohol, and staying physically active will help give you a longer lifespan and improve your quality of life.

The top number is called the systolic pressure and the bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure. The systolic measure the pressure as the heart beats and the diastolic measure the pressure when the heart is at rest. When the top number (systolic) is elevated it is called "Systolic hypertension" and this is a major health issue for elderly Americans.

As we age our systolic number tends to rise naturally because the body is aging and organs like the heart have to work harder to function properly. The arteries become more blocked and it takes more pressure to get the flow of blood through them.

The bottom number (diastolic) rises as we age until we hit 55 and then it slowly declines as opposed to the systolic number continuing to climb. The upper number (systolic) becomes more important as an indicator for possible heart disease. Monitoring how high it is climbing can give advance warning and allow your medical staff to start treatments that could affect your quality of life.

Have a good laugh every day. Preferably at yourself. Having a sense of humor about things when they go wrong is a good way to stay younger for longer.


Low blood pressure is usually considered to be when your systolic pressure reading is 90 or below and your diastolic reading is 60 or below. Some people have low reading all of their life and for them it is normal. An unusual low blood pressure reading can indicate an event or medical condition.

At times some people experience symptoms of low blood pressure when they stand up too quickly and feel dizzy or faint. In extreme cases of a sudden drop in blood pressure the symptom of shock may be experienced.

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