Heart disease is one of the most common health conditions among older adults. Many seniors think of heart attack as the only cardiovascular condition to be concerned about, but there are a variety of diseases that can affect the heart. These six types of cardiovascular disorders are particularly common among seniors.
1. Coronary Heart Disease
This is one of the most common forms of heart disease, and it is caused by plaque and cholesterol buildup. When the blood vessels are damaged or blocked, the heart beats harder to pump blood throughout the body. Typical symptoms of coronary heart disease include mild chest pain, increased heart rate, feelings of nausea, and indigestion. If left untreated, this disease can result in heart attacks.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Heart disease can create problems in the brain as well. Blocked arteries obstruct the flow of blood to the brain, which could lead to strokes. Depending on the extent of brain damage, strokes can range from mild to severe. Some of the warning signs of strokes include speech impediment, facial numbness, numb muscles, and blurred vision.
3. Peripheral Vascular Disease
Unlike other heart conditions, peripheral vascular disease primarily affects the legs. It occurs when plaque or other blockages restrict blood flow to the legs and arms. Seniors diagnosed with this health condition may experience pain in their legs and buttocks, especially when they are walking. This disease can also cause thinning skin and hair loss on the legs.
Peripheral vascular disease can make it difficult for seniors to go about their daily routines without assistance. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Lehigh Valley, PA, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
One of the many diseases that affect the muscles of the heart is cardiomyopathy. Seniors with this cardiovascular disease have extremely thick and large heart walls, which makes it difficult for their hearts to pump blood. As a result, blood begins to back up into the lungs, and seniors experience breathlessness, weight gain, fluid retention, and an abnormal heart rate.
5. Heart Failure
Past injuries and a number of cardiovascular diseases could result in heart failure. This health condition occurs when the heart cannot adequately pump blood throughout the body, and it can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and swollen legs.
6. Rheumatic Heart Disease
Starting out as a childhood bacterial infection from issues like strep or scarlet fever, rheumatic heart disease may not become apparent for several decades. Seniors are more susceptible to this form of heart disease if they had an impoverished childhood. Rheumatic heart disease can obstruct the mitral valve and cause heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
Heart disease can lead to cognitive impairment. Vascular dementia is a form of memory loss that results from restricted flow of blood to the brain. If your aging loved one has an ongoing heart condition, consult his or her doctor about the possibility of developing dementia and consider high-quality dementia home care. In Lehigh Valley, PA, dementia home care professionals are available around the clock to help seniors with memory-related conditions age in place safely and comfortably. At Home Care Assistance, we understand the needs of seniors with dementia and the unique challenges they face as the disease progresses. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans or to hire a dedicated caregiver, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.