For a number of reasons February is Heart Month, but the most important reason is to shine a light on how to maintain a healthy heart throughout your life. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a variety of resources to help spread the important message about heart health throughout your circle. If you’re the caregiver for a loved one who is aging in place that is the most important place to start with this information.
We’re talking specifically about managing your blood pressure today and how to talk to your medical provider about it to make sure you get the most out of your interactions at the time of your visit. Whether you’re meeting with a home health care provider or outside of your home, a discussion about your blood pressure can be one that will save your life and prolong it for many years to come. Being equipped with the right questions to ask can help you and your loved one better understand how to take care of your blood pressure so it doesn’t become a problem.
When you’re speaking with your medical provider you should start with these simple questions to have a better understanding of your situation and how you can do the best job for your condition.
1.) How often should I measure my blood pressure?
2.) What can you tell me about how to correctly measure my blood pressure?
3.) In the event that it is necessary for me to be put on blood pressure medication, which one is the best for me?
4.) Are there any side effects that are often associated with blood pressure medication or the specific blood pressure medication that I am currently on?
5.) Does it matter what time of day I take my blood pressure medication?
You can start with these five very important blood pressure questions for your medical provider, but then you can go even deeper with some of these questions provided by the CDC. It may even be a good idea to print out the sheet and bring it with you to your appointment so you can make notes about the specific answers that your provider gives you based on your particular situation.
It is important for you to understand as the caregiver for someone who is aging in place that you should never make medical decisions for that person without consulting her/his medical provider and without also talking with the person you are caring for to make sure they remain in control of their own medical plan as long as they are able to both physically and mentally. It is critical that a medical provider is consulted before making any changes.