4 Heart Conditions Older Adults Are at Risk For

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The heart is one of the most essential organs in the body, making it important for your elderly loved one to take proper care of his or her heart health, either through prevention or with treatment after a condition has developed. Here’s a list of common heart conditions your loved one may be at risk for.

1. Irregular Heartbeat

A slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat means the heart’s electrical system isn’t functioning properly. Typical symptoms include palpitations or “fluttering” in the chest, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, and weakness. If you believe your loved one has an irregular heartbeat, ask his or her doctor about ordering an EKG or a 24-hour Holter monitor to check for arrhythmias. In many cases, an irregular heartbeat can be managed through medication. In severe cases, an implantable pacemaker or defibrillator may be required. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Pearland families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

2. Heart Failure

With age, the heart can lose the ability to pump efficiently. This can lead to congestive heart failure, which is characterized by shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of the lower extremities. The most common treatment is with medication to regulate blood pressure, the rate and strength of heart contractions, and fluids. Encourage your loved one to see a doctor immediately if your loved one has significant swelling in the legs and feet or a weight gain of two to three pounds in the space of a couple of days.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. 

3. Angina

Often described as pain or tightness in the chest, angina is a sign the heart isn’t getting enough blood and oxygen. It can be an early sign of coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack. EKGs, echo testing, and even coronary arteriography can be used to identify potential arterial blockages and determine their severity. The most common treatments are medications and surgery to remove the blockage. 

4. Hypertension

With age, the arteries narrow, harden, and become less elastic. This causes the blood to flow through them with more force, a condition known as high blood pressure or hypertension. Over time, high blood pressure can damage blood vessels and lead to heart attacks or strokes. Your loved one can lower his or her chances of having high blood pressure by limiting salt intake, stopping smoking, and staying physically active. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of Pearland home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. To schedule a free in-home consultation, contact us today.