Normal blood pressure values in the elderly are important to be monitored regularly. The reason is, the risk of high blood pressure will increase as a person ages. Therefore, the elderly need to regularly check their blood pressure so that their normal blood pressure values can be monitored properly.
Blood pressure is a measure to determine how hard the heart organ pumps blood and circulates it throughout the body. The value of blood pressure in each person varies and is influenced by various factors, such as age.
Therefore, normal blood pressure values in the elderly can be slightly different from normal blood pressure values in adults, children, and pregnant women.
What is the Normal Blood Pressure Value in the Elderly?
In healthy adults, normal blood pressure values are in the range of 90/60 mmHg to 120/80 mmHg. In contrast to young adults, normal blood pressure values in the elderly are in a slightly higher range, which is 130/80 mmHg to 140/90 mmHg.
The number 130 or 140 is the systolic number, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart contracts to pump clean blood throughout the body.
Meanwhile, the number 80 or 90 indicates the diastolic number, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is not contracting and receiving blood flow back from the rest of the body carrying dirty blood.
From the figures above, it can be seen that the normal blood pressure in the elderly is higher than the normal blood pressure in adults.
This is because blood vessels tend to harden or stiffen with age. Hardening of the blood vessels makes the heart have to work harder, thus making blood pressure in the elderly higher.
What are the Symptoms and Complications of Blood Pressure Problems in the Elderly?
An elderly person is said to have high blood pressure or hypertension if his blood pressure reaches more than 140/90 mmHg, while low blood pressure or hypotension if the elderly blood pressure is below 90/60 mmHg.
When you reach the age of 60 years, an elderly person's blood pressure will tend to start to increase. However, blood pressure will tend to decrease when the elderly reach the age of 80 years or more.
High or low blood pressure in the elderly may not cause symptoms. However, the elderly or their families who care for them need to be alert if the elderly have hypertension or hypotension accompanied by symptoms of dizziness, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, decreased consciousness, fainting, and weakness of limbs.
This may indicate that the elderly have hypertension complications, such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or impaired kidney function. These complications are at high risk of occurring in the elderly who have hypertension accompanied by a history of previous comorbidities.
Therefore, the elderly who experience the above symptoms need to be immediately taken to the doctor for proper examination and treatment.
How to Maintain Normal Blood Pressure in the Elderly?
The elderly can keep their blood pressure normal by regularly living a healthy lifestyle. The following are steps to lead a healthy lifestyle in the elderly:
1. Eat nutritious food
Start by eating a balanced nutritious diet. To maintain normal blood pressure and reduce the risk of various diseases, the elderly are advised to eat low-fat foods and reduce salt intake.
Instead, choose foods rich in fiber, such as brown rice, vegetables, fruits, and beans. Elderly also need to drink enough water every day to prevent dehydration.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly can help you maintain your ideal weight, prevent obesity, and keep your blood pressure stable. Do exercise regularly for 30 minutes every day or at least 3 times a week.
The types of sports that are recommended for the elderly are walking, swimming, cycling, or elderly gymnastics.
3. Don't smoke and limit alcohol consumption
Smoking habits and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can increase the risk of hypertension in the elderly. Therefore, the elderly are advised to stop smoking and avoid exposure to cigarette smoke and limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
4. Get enough sleep
Adequate sleep and rest is beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels. Lack of sleep can interfere with heart function and increase the risk of developing hypertension and stroke.
As you get older, the need for sleep decreases. The average adult sleep time is about 7–9 hours per day. Meanwhile, the elderly aged 65 years and over, sleep time will be reduced to 7-8 hours per day.
In addition, to ensure that their blood pressure values remain normal, the elderly also need to regularly check their blood pressure at the puskesmas, doctor's office, or use their own sphygmomanometer at home.
If blood pressure in the elderly remains high, this condition should be checked by a doctor.
To treat high blood pressure in the elderly, the doctor may advise the elderly to lead a healthy lifestyle and prescribe hypertension medication. After receiving treatment, the elderly still need to monitor their blood pressure regularly.
Normal blood pressure values in the elderly tend to be higher, when compared to adult blood pressure values.
However, if they have reached the category of hypertension or hypotension, the elderly need to undergo regular check-ups with a doctor, especially if the blood pressure abnormality has already caused symptoms of severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, and decreased consciousness.