According to the American Heart Association, approximately half of US adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure has many adverse health effects, like damaging the heart, damaging and narrowing the arteries, and increasing the sufferer’s risk of kidney failure, stroke, and heart failure. To manage their high blood pressure, many Americans take prescription medication. For people utilizing free home healthcare services, this is done under the healthcare provider’s supervision.
Not all blood pressure drugs work the same way. There are multiple classes of blood pressure medications, each of which is formulated to work in a specific way. If your loved one has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, take time to educate yourself about the type of medication he or she has been prescribed and possible treatment options for other conditions he or she faces related to his or her blood pressure.
Specific Types of Blood Pressure Medication and their Uses
Blood pressure medications are divided into the following categories:
- ACE inhibitors. These drugs relax blood vessels by preventing the production of the substances that constrict the blood vessels;
- Diuretics. Diuretics help the body flush out salt and water by increasing urine production. By flushing out the water and salt in the body, these drugs reduce blood volume and in turn, reduce blood pressure;
- Beta-blockers. These drugs slow the user’s heart rate and decrease each heartbeat’s strength. By cutting down the heart rate and beat strength, these drugs reduce pressure on the blood vessels;
- Calcium channel blockers. This type of medication decrease each heartbeat’s speed and strength while relaxing the muscles surrounding the blood vessels, making blood flow easier; and
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers. Like ACE inhibitors, these drugs block the production of vessel-tightening substances. They also prevent them from restricting the blood vessels.
Reasons to Lower Blood Pressure
If your elderly loved one is diagnosed with high blood pressure, he or she may be prescribed one or more of the medications listed above.
Individuals who are diagnosed with high blood pressure are also advised to make lifestyle changes that can reduce their blood pressure. These lifestyle changes include:
- Exercising regularly;
- Reducing or eliminating alcohol intake;
- Stopping smoking; and
- Adjusting to a low-salt, low-calorie diet.
There are many benefits to your loved one lowering his or her blood pressure. They include:
- Improving his or her vision;
- Reducing his or her risk of stroke;
- Reducing his or her risk of suffering a heart attack; and
- Improving his or her kidney function.
Hire a Home Healthcare Worker Who can Help you Loved One Manage his or her Medication
If your loved one qualifies for free home healthcare services under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) or Department of Labor – Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (DOL EEOICPA), contact our team at United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care to schedule your initial consultation with us to learn more about the services we provide. During your consultation, we will answer all of your questions and help you advocate for your elderly loved one.