The heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. In fact, it pumps almost 2,500 gallons of blood per day around your body. Before you die, your heart will have beaten around three billion times.
You can take this pressure off of your heart. How? Well, by controlling your blood pressure. One way to control your blood pressure is with the best blood pressure monitor. Why should you but the best blood pressure monitor? There are many reasons, so let us explain.
Blood Pressure Monitoring and Seniors
As you age, most of the muscles in your body become weaker and weaker each day. In fact, after middle age, you’ll lose about three percent of your muscle mass each year.
Also, your arteries become stiffer and stiffer as you age as well. There is controversy whether this increases blood pressure or whether the increase in blood pressure increases the stiffness. However, in either case, it’s another reason you should monitor your blood pressure as you age.
Accurately Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
You should monitor your blood pressure in two ways: at home and at the doctor’s office. You should do both of these, not just one.
Studies have found that at-home blood pressure monitor readings can be inaccurate for around 5%-15% of people. So while it’s important to monitor your blood pressure regularly at-home, you also need to get your blood pressure tested at the doctor’s office by a trained professional as well.
Finding the Best Blood Pressure Monitor
In order to monitor your blood pressure you have to find a quality blood pressure monitor. Quality, in this case, means most accurate. If you do not have an accurate blood pressure monitor, your health may suffer. The readings will be up some days, down some others and it will be hard to know whether or not you are truly managing your blood pressure.
One of the main reasons to get a blood pressure monitor is to put you in control. If you do not know your blood pressure, how will you control it? And if the readings aren’t accurate, how will you control it?
Why Should Seniors Monitor Blood Pressure?
Self-monitoring also has another huge benefit – early diagnosis. You might be wondering if you don’t already suffer from high blood pressure, should you be monitoring your blood pressure? The answer is a definitive “yes.”
You never know when your blood pressure could spike. High blood pressure can also be a tip off to other problems such as kidney problems or diabetes. By monitoring your blood pressure you can start to correct these problems early, before they get out of control.
And perhaps the main reason to get a blood pressure monitor is the fact that high blood pressure usually has no major symptoms. In fact, blood pressure problems, in some cases, can be completely silent. Sometimes the only way to tell if you have it is to measure it.
As Ben Franklin says, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Start monitoring your blood pressure today.
7 Best Blood Pressure Monitors for Seniors
ParaMed is one of the most trusted names when it comes to blood pressure monitors. As a customer-oriented company they make their products the way customers want them. This means that not only do they make their products with consumer-friendliness in mind, but they also listen to their customers and change their products to fit their customer’s needs.
The ParaMed wrist blood pressure monitor is a shining example of their customer-oriented focus. The product is simple, affordable and easy to use, for one. All you have to do is simply press a button. It’s also very rapid, giving results in as little as 30 seconds. Most importantly, the results are extremely accurate as it is FDA-approved.
The BP monitor’s large display is easy to read for a wrist monitor, which means you won’t have to squint or pull your hand up close your face to see the monitor. It will also store your results (two users total) for 90 days so you can track your blood pressure over time. It gives you the time and date, as well as your results.
This blood pressure monitor also monitors your heart rhythm. Heart rhythm monitoring is important to detect if you might have any type of arrhythmia, which may indicate a weak or damaged heart. You can then notify your doctor if this is the case.
It’s also a great monitor if you’re always on the go. It comes with a carrying case for easy storage and with it not being overly large, it’s easy to take with you.
The ParaMed blood pressure monitor is a great monitor for seniors. Its large display is easy to read and the extra large numbers help too. The cuff has a “self-checking” mechanism, so you can be sure there are no mistakes being made when measuring your blood pressure. As an FDA-approved device by a solid brand– ParaMed– you know you are getting accurate readings.
Another nice feature of this blood pressure monitor is its voice broadcast feature. The female voice on the blood pressure monitor gives you instructions on how to place the cuff on your arm and then gives you the results after the reading is done. If you are hearing impaired, this is an excellent feature to have. However, if you don’t like this feature, it can be easily be disabled.
Do you get a bit nervous when you’re taking your blood pressure? Well, with this blood pressure monitor this is also an option to turn on comforting music while taking your blood pressure. The music is designed to help you relax so that the monitor can get more accurate readings. However, this feature can also be disabled if you are not in need of it.
The monitor even has an alarm clock you can set to make sure you take regular daily readings at the same time. Like the ParaMed monitor above, this monitor also checks for arrhythmias. It also stores data for up to two users for 120 days.
This blood pressure monitor also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.
The Aesfee BP Monitor is a great device. Not only is it highly accurate, it also has a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery. It also has a clear and crisp black and white LCD display that is easy to read, especially in low light with its backlighting.
The rechargeable battery is definitely the highlight on this blood pressure monitor. It comes with the USB charging cable, so all that is needed is a USB adapter to plug it in to the wall. If you don’t have one, that’s fine. They are not expensive and you can buy one here. Or, if you have the same type of protection on your cell phone, you can use your cell phone charger instead.
Another advantage of this unit is its accuracy, even though it is not an FDA approved device. For measuring blood pressure, it is accurate within plus or minus 3 mm Hg. Pulse rate is also measured on this device, and it is accurate within 5%. There’s also an irregular heartbeat indicator to check for arrhythmia.
The monitor is also designed for two users. Each user can store up to 90 readings. Along with each reading is the specific date and time of the measurement. It also has auto-shutoff to preserve battery life.
A very good blood pressure monitor at a very affordable price. And being that is one of the few rechargeable blood pressure monitors, it’s a tough one to beat.
The Omron 10 blood pressure monitor is a great blood pressure monitor that’s loaded with features. This device is best-suited for the tech savvy senior that isn’t afraid of words and phrases like “bluetooth” and “wireless connectivity.” If this is you, this blood pressure monitor is going to be your new best friend.
According to the company, Omron is the “#1 recommended home blood pressure monitor brand by doctors and pharmacists.” This company’s claims may not be far off because this company is a high quality Japanese company that’s been around since 1933. Omron’s devices are FDA cleared and in fact, Omron is one of the first companies to have an at-home EKG testing device.
The Omron 10 blood pressure monitor is perhaps one of the best in terms of readability. The screen clear has white lettering on a black background, making it super easy to read. Its advanced storage can store up to 100 readings for two people, for up to 200 readings in total.
The best feature of this device is its wireless connectivity via bluetooth. You can take your blood pressure and then the device will wirelessly feed data to your smartphone or other smart device. It works with Apple, Android and even Amazon Alexa. This allows you to not only track your data but even get unlimited data tracking, if needed.
The app itself is free to download. Once downloaded, you can use it to check pulse, systolic and diastolic blood pressure over time. This is done by viewing the data graphically over time, making it extremely easy to track. You can even email the results to your doctor so that he can go over them with you.
Connecting the blood pressure monitor with Alexa allows you to control the blood pressure monitor by voice. You can ask Alexa to check your blood pressure for you and Alexa will activate you device to take the reading. You can ask Alex for your readouts as well.
The blood pressure monitor’s reading are done automatically three times. This ensures that the readings are done accurately. How so? Well, the readings are taken and then averaged automatically.
Take an average of your readings, in general, is always more accurate than any singular reading. One reading can be high, another lower, and another in-between. This ensures that no one reading is counted too heavily, especially if it is inaccurate.
And one of the greatest thing about this blood pressure monitor is that it is covered by a 3-year warranty, in case anything should happen to it.
The CareTouch Blood Pressure Monitor has a lot to like, especially for seniors. For one, it has a very large 1.4” x 1.6″ LCD display with a blue backlight for contrast. It also gives clear indication of whether or not you are in a normal or abnormal range for your blood pressure.
This blood pressure monitor is professionally certified and accurate. In fact, it is able to measure blood pressure within plus or minus 3 mmHg and within 5% of your actual pulse. It will also clearly display a green, orange or red background after reading your blood pressure to give you a quick indication of whether your blood pressure is normal or not.
Green means that your blood pressure is normal, this is what you will normally see. Orange or yellow means that you have mild hypertension. Red means that you have severe hypertension and should alert a caregiver right away. There’s also an indicator to let you know whether or not you are experiencing an irregular heartbeat.
The cuff is also very large and great if you have larger arms (5.5 – 8.5 inches). It’s also easily adjustable and comfortable too. The only downside of this unit is that the hose connecting to the unit could be a bit tighter. However, it’s not a huge deal as it still stays in place fine when measuring.
If you are sharing the device with another user, this device allows for both of you to store up to 60 recordings. Each reading comes with a date and time stamp, making it easy to locate past results or to share results with a caregiver.
This blood pressure monitor also comes with a handy drawstring bag for taking the device with you on the go. It is also one of the highest rated blood pressure monitors by users. It even comes with a 12-month “no questions asked” warranty.
Overall, a great device and frankly one of the easiest blood pressure monitors to interpret, making it especially great for seniors.
The iProven blood pressure monitor is a clinically tested blood pressure monitor that is great for seniors who are looking for a monitor that’s easy to use. Not only is it accurate, but it’s also easy to read the display and easy to know whether or not your blood pressure is in the normal range.
The best feature of this blood pressure monitor is its ease of use. The blood pressure monitor already comes ready to use, no setup necessary. You don’t have to fiddle with the settings too much either.
Then after you take your blood pressure there is an easy-to-read meter on the side that shows how your blood pressure compares to the American Heart Association levels. You can visually see whether you’re in the clear or in the danger zone, no interpretation necessary.
It’s also great if you find yourself using your blood pressure monitor in low light or at night. The backlit display glows brightly and the numbers are extra large so you can see them easily. The last thing you want to do is try to turn on the light when you might be having a hypertensive attack. With this blood pressure monitor you can quickly and easily measure your blood pressure without the extra fuss.
The only downside of this monitor is the 60-day reading storage for up to two users. For those who like to track their blood pressure over time you’ll either have to settle for the 60-day limit or record your blood pressure manually for longer time spans.
This blood pressure monitor is also very compact and easy to take with you on the go. It also comes with a 100-day guarantee. If you’re not happy with it, just send it back.
The Generation Guard BP Monitor brings the clinic to your home with its FDA approved (and CE approved) and clinically accurate blood pressure monitor. Not only does it do that, but it comes at an affordable price as well.
The device itself is a bit larger than some of the other monitors on the list but that means two things: (1) It has an easy to read display because it is so large and (2) the buttons are big and easy to press. This BP monitor has an “advanced measuring technique” designed to give accurate readings.
This monitor also has the ability to detect irregular heartbeats and will alert you when one is found. It also stores up to 90 readings in its memory, a bit less than some of the other monitors. It also does not allow for more than one user.
It also comes with a carrying case and four AA batteries. Also, there’s a spot for an AC adapter if you prefer to plug it into the wall instead. However, you will have to buy that separately as it does not come with the unit.
A good blood pressure monitor if you are the only one using it and are just looking for a basic, simple blood pressure monitor. No bells and whistles, but good accuracy and good quality.
Blood Pressure Monitors and Monitoring: Important Considerations
Measuring your blood pressure shouldn’t be a stressful event. It should be part of your daily routine. Include it in your routine like you would brushing your teeth, washing your hands, eating, etc. This means that it should be something you do regularly without thinking too much about it.
If you are ever in doubt of the accuracy of your blood pressure monitor, be sure to test it out. Take it with you to your next doctor’s office visit. Have the nurse or doctor take your blood pressure readings and then take your own blood pressure readings with the device.
Make sure the readings of both your doctor and the ones you took yourself match. If they do not, do several tests to ensure it is the device and not the way you are measuring. You can even ask the nurse or doctor to watch you. If continued readings do not match, return your blood pressure monitor and get a new one. Sometimes even a good brand can be faulty.
If your readings and the nurse’s or doctor’s do match, so much the better. You can now rest assured that you are getting accurate measurements.
How Do I Measure My Blood Pressure?
Properly measuring your blood pressure is very important when monitoring your blood pressure. This Harvard video discusses many important things to keep in mind when measuring your blood pressure in order to get accurate readings.
Some important highlights from the video include:
- Sit with both of your feet placed on the ground.
- Keep your arm at around heart level.
- Keep your arm supported by a table.
- Keep the cuff about a half inch above the bend in your elbow.
- Don’t talk, drink coffee, or do any activity no matter how minor.
- Don’t put the cuff over your clothing.
Here is a great diagram by the American Heart Association that will also help you in measuring your blood pressure:
Feel free to print this out and keep it close to where you measure your blood pressure.
Note the categories for normal blood pressure, elevated blood pressure, high blood pressure (stage 1, stage 2) and the hypertensive crisis level. Be sure to contact a doctor if your reading enters into the danger zone, which is a blood pressure higher than 180/120 mm Hg.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally?
Discussed in the video are many ways to naturally lower your blood pressure. Dr. Laffin, MD discusses the fact that if you don’t focus on lifestyle and try to rely solely on medication, the medication will not work as effectively. He says lowering your blood pressure is 70% is lifestyle and only 30% is related to medication.
Some things he suggests in the video:
- Weight loss if the main factor in lowering your blood pressure.
- Use the DASH diet which consists of fruits, vegetables and low sodium/salt in your diet.
- Increase the amount of potassium in your diet by eating foods rich in potassium (this means spinach, bananas, apricots, avocados, potatoes, beans).
- Add cardiovascular exercises to your routine such as light jogging (150 minutes of aerobic activity a week).
- Lower your alcohol intake (no more than 1-2 drinks per day).