FARMINGTON – Free blood-pressure checks will be available in Carthage and Weld with the help of trained volunteers.

They’ll be available in Weld at the Town Office the third Monday of every month, starting July 21, and in Carthage’s Town Office on the first Monday of the month, starting Aug. 4. They will be done from 6 to 7 p.m. in each town.

Volunteers from each town were trained to do blood pressures by registered nurse Sandy Richard, coordinator of the Healthy Community Coalition’s Mobile Health Unit.

They will use the new, stricter guidelines released in May by the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

In these guidelines, there is a category called prehypertension when a person’s systolic blood pressure is between 120 and 139 and their diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 90. The committee recommends that anyone with a blood pressure in one or both of these ranges should consider lifestyle changes to reduce their blood pressure. The volunteers will have information on basic lifestyle guidelines that can help reduce blood pressure.

This service is being started as a result of a survey that was done more than a year ago asking residents to list their top health promotion needs. In each town, having regular blood pressure checks available in the community was the second one listed, after flu shots.

For more information, people can contact Eileen Liddy at the Healthy Community Coalition at 800-525-3136, extension 5113 or (207) 645-3136, extension 5113.

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