My Mom is fixated on her blood pressure. How to cope?

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She is always taking it and worrying it is too high. It's not.

Answers 1 to 10 of 12
Oh, I go through this a lot. Your mother probably has the same type of health anxiety that mine has. Mine is a hypochondriac. Something I do is tell her that the pressure is fine, and WHY is she taking it. It can be like their obsessive worrying can be a way of keeping it from sneaking up on them. The truth is that the worrying itself can cause the pressure to go up.

Maybe her cuff can come down with a case of dead batteries with your help.
I have tried 'losing' the batteries, but she just gets more.
Top Answer
Ask the MD for medications that minimize the anxiety. Let her have the cuff and get her a pulse ox meter too and encourage her to keep a log to share with her MD. That way he gets the big picture and he will treat the anxiety.
Oh, good idea. Chiefex, when I wrote to lose the batteries, I immediately thought of my own mother. Mine wouldn't let me rest until I had bought new batteries or a new meter. People with dementia always seem to forget things we want them to remember, and remember the things we want them to forget.

Pam's idea is excellent. Logs do give a lot of information about the illness, the obsession, and the organization skills. My mother can't keep a log. If I make her a table to fill out, she skips doing things or writes results on scraps of paper without any time or date on them. Who could know what the numbers are? No organization skills at all.
My sig other use to be obsessed with taking his blood pressure, he did this for about a year or so.... it's been awhile since I've heard him using the machine as he is now focused on other health issues that he has.... he's very much a hypochondriac.
Antidepressants may help ease your mom's anxiety. I also had my mom's doctor write down the range that her bp should be in, and specific actions to be taken if it was out of range. (Hold a pill, take extra, call him). He understood how anxious she was about it and told her she was to take it twice daily at specific times and keep a chart.
I like what Babalou's mom's doctor did! Get into this reality with her. Have her keep a chart. Get directions on what to do if it is high in the morning and if it is high in the late afternoon. Make a big deal out of this. It is apparently a big deal for her. There is no harm in taking bp and it gives her something to do.

If the anxiety continues, I'd talk to the doctor about possible medication to help that.
My Mom used to take her blood pressure many times a day and obsess when it wasn't in the correct range. I had her keep a chart and show it to the Dr. at the next appt. I played dumb and asked what she could do about the fluctuations, and what was the correct number, etc. He got it! He sat down with her and explained how BP changes during the day with activity, eating, resting, and that those fluctuations are expected. He then suggested seriously that she take it 15 min. after getting up, just before lunch, and just before dinner, after sitting still, breathing calmly, with her feet on the floor, for at least 5 minutes. He also tweaked some of her medication. This action worked well. Mom was now following the Doctors orders and taking the BP before meals helped her focus on eating at the right times. Using this process gave mom much more standard readings and she began to calm down about her BP.

Personally, I try to avoid more medication. Use it if nothing else works, but 1 medication often leads to another and another.
Gee! And I thought I was the only one with this problem. We got my mother a BP monitor for Christmas thinking it would ease any anxiety over her pressure. It only made her worse. She'll continue to do her pressure over and over until she gets the reading that she wants. If she doesn't, she thinks there's something wrong with the monitor. I'm tired of constantly being called to adjust her cuff because the reading isn't just right. At least I'm not alone in dealing with this.
Easy answer=hide the blood pressure machine!

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