Blood Pressure Log: Senior Living Help Diary

People are getting smarter day by day. And getting self-sufficient as well. From quick fix in the house to first aid for wound, the human race is learning everything it needs. Having the ability to log one’s blood pressure regularly is also one item of this smart wagon.

To have the basic at home comes real handy. No one never knows what may come but they can always be ready. Or at least track the pattern to foresee the future events.

Building the habit of taking blood pressure read at home will give you that opportunity. It saves time, money and even sometimes life. Let us found out what can be done.

Why Buy Monitor Blood Pressure At Home

Now, many may think why do the extra hassle of spending money and buying a sphygmomanometer or a blood pressure monitor and also use it at home to check blood pressure. But this practice can be lifesaving.

It Helps With Early Diagnosis

By monitoring your pressure you are actually monitoring your health. You are keeping a tab on your heart, blood, its flow, diet, physical activity and much more.

It gives you a heads up. But if you are already diagnosed with irregular blood pressure or any other condition that has an effect on blood pressure then it is a must to have an in-home checking device. You will be benefited in the long run.

Understand Treatment Progress

When you are changing your lifestyle and following expert’s advice for a better life and health that time keeping tabs on your vitals such as blood pressure comes very handy.

By having one at home and monitoring it regularly will give your doctor a better idea of how your body is reacting to the change. By knowing the blood pressure you can set your diet, physical activities and medication. You will be able to avoid harmful activities and live happily thereby.

Cut The Cost And Time

Now, whether you have health issues or not as you grow older it is inevitable that you will feel bad and need to visit a doctor. Having a blood pressure measuring set at home will save you the small hassle.

You can check it at your home and act thereby. It will save you both money and time and most importantly you can get a quick diagnosis and treat yourself accordingly.

Proper Measurement

There is no guarantee when your blood pressure will act up. Some people have white coat hypertension which is a term referring to the anxiety of meeting a doctor hence blood pressure going up. Them some may have masked hypertension which is normal blood pressure at the doctor’s but elevated somewhere else.

It is not easy or correct to give advice just by judging a few times in a certain atmosphere. Blood pressure can get affected easily. So it is safe for you to have it checked at various times under various conditions.

Blood pressure monitor types

blood pressure monitorBlood pressure monitoring devices are getting more popular and with that, it is becoming easier to work with. They are even cheap. A blood pressure monitor or a sphygmomanometer can cost up to $100. But there are cheaper ones and they are good to go too.

To purchase such a device one does not need any prescription or earn a degree. It is profoundly available in any pharmacy to online stores. Also, it is not rocket science to work with it. Just a little bit of learning is enough.

There are various models as well for the one that you wear on your arm or wrist. Basically, the difference is in its working process. It can be of 2 types; manual and digital.

1. Manual or Aneroid Blood Pressure Monitors

In manual devices, you will get a cuff that wraps around your arms, a rubber squeeze bulb, and a gauge to measure the pressure. A stethoscope will be needed to hear the blood pulsing through the artery.

The needle in the gauge will help to see the pressure and if done properly it is the most accurate one. But as it is a bit difficult to deal with that is why it is not recommended for home use. It is also the least expensive one but prone to damage. Despite all that more preferable.

2. Digital Blood Pressure Monitors

Whereas in digital there will be cuff wrapping the arm as well with a built-in stethoscope. The inflating of the cuff can be both manual or automated.

The reading of the systolic (the force of the blood against the artery walls as your heart beats) and diastolic (the blood pressure between heartbeats) blood pressures appear on the screen. Some device may also offer a paper print out.

Once used you have to wait for 2-3 minutes before using the device again. While reading the pressure the patient cannot move or irregular heartbeat will give wrong readings. This is the most recommended one for house log. They are a bit expensive but saves the hassle.

Features To Consider Before Buying

Keep these points in mind before buying your product. It will save you time, money and hassle.

Cuff size: Make sure the cuff fits you or the patient properly. Not all cuffs size are same, not all hands are same. So have them fitted. If it does not then the reading will be wrong. You may ask your doctor or nurse for your recommended size.

Display: Display is very important as it is the part where the reading will be shown. So, make sure it is clear, easy to read and working properly.

Cost: It varies as said before. Ask around a bit. But thanks to the experience we can say, a cheap one is no way less than an expensive one.

Device accuracy: It is wise to get it checked by a practicing physician.

Blood pressure log for patients:

Blood Pressure logWhen you are measuring blood pressure there are two aspects that you have to measure. They are the systolic and diastolic pressure. They refer to the highest and lowest point of the arterial or blood pressure respectively.

Now, depending on age, weight, height and many other factors also maybe depending on someone sex the blood pressure defers. But they stay in a limit associated with their category.

When someone breaks the limit from any of the ends (lower and high) that person has either low or high blood pressure and needs medical attention. Anything can cause the change in the flow of blood in your arteries.

You can witness that most of the time they are normal but at times due to any factor, the pressure measurement will be irregular. Those who have established irregular pressure must always keep their pressure under check.

As for others, they should also be aware as high or low blood pressure problem can occur at any age. Check regularly. To help you to keep an eye on your or your family and friends health we are providing you with the chart. Print and fill the boxes out diligently.

The chart will help you to keep the track and will also help you to track the path and prepare you for the future. Also, doctors will have it clear and will be able to treat you better in case you need medical help.

The charts have entries regarding diet, exercise, and stress level. Take them in a note as well and fill them up. Time is an important factor, so, do not forget to mention it as well. Also, find out your pressure goal from your doctor and write it on the top of the chart.

How to Track Daily Personal Record of Blood Pressure

Follow these step by step rules to get the accurate reading. It is not hard but you will need some practice to get the heck of it. We will show both of the monitors.

Vive precision blood pressure monitor

Vive Precision Blood Pressure Monitor

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1. Manual or Aneroid Blood Pressure Monitors

Locating Pulse

First, start by locating your pulse. Lightly press your index and middle fingers to the inside center of the bend of your elbow. This is where the brachial artery is.

In case you fail to locate it properly place the head of the stethoscope of the manual monitor or the arm cuff on a digital monitor on the same general area. That will help.

Cuff It

Now is the time of securing the cuff onto your arm or patient’s arm. As you put it on make sure the stethoscope head of the manual monitor is over the artery. And as for the digital monitor, its cuff will have some sort of indicator like an arrow pointing where the stethoscope is and where to put it.

The lower edge of the cuff should be about 1 inch above the bend of the elbow. Fasten it enough but do not make the fabric fastener too tight that it disrupts the blood flow.

Ear Piece

Secure the stethoscope in your ear as well. Here is a tip, to hear better tilt the earpieces slightly forward to get the best sound.

Inflating And Deflating The Cuff

  • In your left hand hold the pressure gauge and the bulb in your right. You can interchange if you are lefty.
  • The clockwise direction turning closes the airflow valve on the bulb. Do it.
  • Inflate the cuff by squeezing the bulb in your hand. Rhythmically. One press at a time. As you continue at one point you will hear the pulse in the stethoscope.
  • Watch the gauge as you go. Keep on inflating it. Stop when the gauge reads 30 points (mmHg) over the expected systolic pressure of your age.
  • This is the point where you should not be able to hear any pulse in the stethoscope.
  • Keep your eyes on the gauge continuously. Open the airflow valve by turning counterclockwise and release the pressure in the cuff very slowly. The gauge should fall only 2 to 3 points with each heartbeat.
  • You have to practice turning the valve slowly. A lot of time.
  • Listen carefully for the first pulse beat. When you can no longer hear it, note the reading on the gauge. This is the reading for systolic pressure.
  • Continue to slowly deflate the cuff.
  • Listen carefully until the sound disappears. Just at the time, you can no longer hear your pulse, note the reading on the gauge of that moment. This reading is your diastolic pressure. Allow the cuff to completely deflate.

2. Digital Blood Pressure Monitors

  • Hold the bulb in your hand and be ready.
  • Start the machine by pressing the power button. All symbols will appear briefly, followed by a zero on the display. This means the monitor is ready.
  • Inflate the cuff by squeezing the bulb with your hand. If you have a monitor with automatic cuff inflation, press that start button to get all the air in of it.
  • Close eye on the gauge. The trick is to stop inflation of the cuffs when the gauge read is about 30 points (mm Hg) above the expected systolic pressure. Get the chart for help.
  • Stay seated quietly and read the monitor. Both pressure readings will be displayed on the screen. Depending on the device the values may appear on the left or on the right. And it does not matter.
  • There will be a long beep. Wait for it. It is the notification of the competition of taking measurements. Note the pressures on the display screen. Some will provide you print out as well.
  • Systolic pressure appears on the left and diastolic pressure on the right. Your pulse rate may also be displayed. It may come in between or after the pressure readings.
  • Deflate the cuff.

Tips For Accurate Reading

Whatever device you chose for home only proper training and practice will make you able to use correctly and get the best out of it.

> Check It Beforehand

Not all machines give the correct read that is why it is wise to bring the device to your doctor to get it checked up against a working one. Or your local trusted pharmacist can do it too. Do it once a year regularly at least to check if the device has broken or not.

> Measure twice daily

It is better to check blood pressure first in the morning before breakfast, medicine or eating anything. The second time it is better to choose in the evening.

> Take Multiple Readings

It is better to take 3 readings each time. It helps to make sure the result is accurate.

> Not Right After Waking Up

Though it is recommended to take a reading early in the morning it should not be right after waking up. Take some time and prepare for the day.

> Avoid These Things

30 minutes before reading avoid food, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Stress, smoking, cold temperatures, exercise, caffeine, certain medicines can raise your blood pressure.

> Empty Your Bladder

A full bladder may influence the reading so it is better to go to the toilet first before taking a reading.

> Sit Quietly

Not only during the reading but also before it. Do not do any physical activity but sit down relaxed at a place for 5 minutes. Leg and ankle uncrossed with back supported against the chair.

> Stay Calm

Relax and keep your heartbeat normal. Stress will give wrong readings.

> Arm position

It is wise to use the same arm each time for taking a reading. Rest your arm and raise it so it is on the same level as the heart. You may put a cushion under to elevate the arm.

> Bare Skin

The cuff has to be placed on the bare skin and not on any clothing. Do not put any pressure also when you are rolling the sleeves.

> Give Interval

Before each reading take a 1-3 minutes break. It helps to give the right result.

> Jot It Down Immediately

After you have taken the reading, write it down immediately. There are some devices which can automatically log the blood pressure in its system.

Regular Blood Pressure Check Saves Life

Just by having a heads up you can avoid lots of disaster in life. Save yourself from the hassle and live healthily. Get a monitor at home to keep blood pressure at check. Practice often so the readings are accurate.

Written By
Kate Mallord is a health blogger. In the year 1988, She graduated from the University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio. Kate is an exemplary doctor. She has always devoted herself to caring for older adult patients. Read More