This article is part of the “Stories the Inspire – Independence” series describing the many ways St. Louis Center is helping residents reach their potential through the cultivation of personal INDEPENDENCE.

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force that moves the blood through the body and is the measure of the force that circulating blood puts on the walls of the arteries. It is measured in two numbers. Systolic pressure, which is the first number, is measured when the heart beats and when blood pressure is at its highest. Diastolic pressure, the second number, is measured between heart beats, when the heart is resting and when blood pressure is at its lowest. Without blood pressure, blood will not circulate and we cannot survive.

Why is High Blood Pressure Dangerous?

“Tens of millions of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and many do not have it under control.”  – CDC

When a person has hypertension, or high blood pressure, the workload of the heart and blood vessels is increased which makes them work harder and less efficiently. Over time this damages the tissues of the arteries, causing LDL (bad) cholesterol to build up plaque in the damaged tissue. This build-up narrows the arteries and causes even higher blood pressure, more damage and more plaque build-up. Left untreated it can lead to heart arrhythmia, stroke and heart attack. Nearly 45% of all adults in the US today have hypertension.

Avoiding heart disease and stroke is why it is important to monitor/measure blood pressure.

St. Louis Center Residents take Charge of Monitoring their own Blood Pressure

Woman wearing blood pressure monitorAs we have increased the independence of the ladies in Mike’s House around meals, we are also working with them on increasing their ability to attend to their own healthcare needs. Nursing staff wanted the ladies to be independent in monitoring their own blood pressure and have some control over their health. Consequently, we purchased a “talking” blood pressure machine. Nurse Deb trained the women on how to take their blood pressure, and explained what is considered “normal” for blood pressure. They all were very excited to learn how to take their blood pressure and plan on doing it on a regular basis.

“I like taking my blood pressure so that I am sure it is where it should be.”  – Jacqui

They will be taught the Heimlich Maneuver as well as some basic CPR to help increase their knowledge of healthcare needs. As a result, Mike’s House is becoming more independent every day!

Jacqui talks about Independence College.

Read more Stories of Inspiration – INDEPENDENCE

79% of donations received go to the care of the Center’s residents.

According to the 2020 audit, St. Louis Center administrative and overhead expenses were only 21%, in line with well-managed nonprofit best practices. You can be confident that your donation to the Center is going to good use. St. Louis Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Federal Tax ID: 38-6038121.

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