Wellness Tip for November 2016

Take Control Your Blood Pressure

About 70 percent of adults in the United States ages 65 or older have high blood pressure. Even younger people can have high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level is important to reduce the risk of long-term complications later in life. At least 25 percent of adults ages 65 or older are not taking their prescribed blood pressure medications as directed (may skip doses or stop taking the medication altogether). The reasons people gave for not taking their blood pressure medicine as directed vary:

  • Not filling the prescription – nearly 25 percent of new prescriptions for blood pressure medicine are never filled.
  • No symptoms – people with high blood pressure often don’t have symptoms, so some may not treat a problem they don’t notice.
  •  Complexity – people don’t know when to take which pills when they have multiple medicines.
  •  Side effects – medicines may have unwanted side effects.
  •  Forgetting – people forget to take their medicine or refill prescriptions on time.
  •  Cost – medicine costs may be too high for some people.

Some suggestions to improve taking your medications correctly include:

  • Decreasing the frequency in which refills are needed (obtaining 90-day refills when possible).
  •  Coordinating pill refills for the same date.
  •  Taking generic medicines.
  •  Involving all healthcare team members (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, family caregivers) to ensure medicines are being taken as directed and to address concerns about side effects.
  •  Using home blood pressure monitors and easy-to-use tools (e.g. blood pressure logs and mobile apps) to track and share blood pressure readings.
  •  Filling a medplanner with a week’s worth of medications at a time.

Blood pressure checks are offered the third Sunday of each month after worship.