May is recognized as National High Blood Pressure Education Month in the United States. It is dedicated to raising awareness about the risks of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and promoting ways to prevent and manage it. Many organizations, including healthcare providers, government agencies, and advocacy groups, use the month of May to educate the public about the importance of blood pressure monitoring and management. They also provide resources and information on lifestyle modifications, such as healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction, and medication management, that can help manage high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), high blood pressure is estimated to cause about 10 million deaths yearly. This represents approximately 13.5% of all deaths globally. High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other health issues, and it is a major public health concern that affects people of all ages and backgrounds.
A December 2002 Washington Post article highlights that senior living residents are older, sicker and more compromised by impairments than in the past: 55 percent are 85 and older, 77 percent require help with bathing, 69 percent with walking and 49 percent with toileting, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
It is worth noting that high blood pressure is a preventable and manageable condition, and early detection and effective management can significantly reduce the risk of hypertension-related complications.
Activities of Daily Living(ADLs) in Senior Living
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) refer to the essential activities that are performed daily and include bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, toileting and continence management.
It is common for senior living facilities to monitor the blood pressure of their residents. However, the exact practices and protocols for blood pressure monitoring can vary depending on the type of senior living facility, location, and regulatory standards. Many senior living facilities are regulated at state level and policies and procedures can vary even within the same brand of facilities.
In general, healthcare professionals such as nurses or certified nursing assistants are responsible for taking residents’ blood pressure readings regularly in many senior living facilities. Some facilities may require all caregivers to be trained in taking blood pressure readings, while others may have designated healthcare professionals responsible for this task.
Senior living providers and their staff can benefit from introducing the important step of daily blood pressure readings to not only address the growing clinical care of their residents needs but also improve overall quality of care.
Here are important ways providers and caregivers can incorporate regular blood pressure readings:
Establish a Schedule
Create a schedule for taking blood pressure readings and make sure all caregivers are aware of it. Consistency in timing is important, so make sure the schedule is followed. Providers can additionally make this part of their routine activities of daily living. Remote patient monitoring solutions require 16 blood pressure readings to be taken every month. That is, one reading every other day.
Train Caregivers on Proper Technique
Train caregivers to take blood pressure readings correctly. This includes proper positioning, cuff placement, and use of the blood pressure monitor. There are a variety of smart BP (Blood Pressure) monitors available in the market, that take highly accurate BP readings and eliminate the need for manual recording.
Keep a Log
Keep a log of all blood pressure readings to track any changes and help identify any potential health concerns. The log should include the date, time, and reading.
Use reminders to ensure blood pressure readings are taken on time. This can include setting alarms on a phone or using a pill reminder device. Facilities can also hang a bedside chart to make it easier for the caregiver to take BP readings. A visual reminder can go a long way in ensuring compliancy.
Encourage open communication between caregivers to ensure that blood pressure readings are not missed. Use a communication tool or group messaging app to keep all caregivers informed and updated on the task. Often, when caregivers are attending to a resident that requires more care, the chances of missing are higher. While missing one reading may be acceptable, routine breaks in patterns can lead to a break in well established procedures and impact compliacy.
Use a Tracking Tool
Use a blood pressure tracking tool to keep a record of readings. This helps identify patterns and allows for better management of blood pressure levels. Checklists are another great way to keep track of activities.
Involve the resident
Make the resident a partner in this activity. Involve the resident in the process by explaining the importance of taking blood pressure readings and encouraging them to ask questions or express any concerns they may have. Incorporate gamification, such as rewards or incentive schemes to help them stay on track.
Overall, consistency is key to maintaining good health, and these tips can help Senior Living Providers and caregivers stay consistent with taking blood pressure readings for their elderly residents. Incorporating blood pressure readings as an integral task of activities of daily living can go a long way in reducing the risks of complications from heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other health issues.
Zemplee’s passive remote monitoring solution can be extended to include passive blood pressure readings. Senior living facilities can take advantage of Zemplee’s solution to track health, safety and wellbeing of their residents. For more information contact Zemplee Sales at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Zemplee website