Feb 1, 2018 by Gregg Gammello
Numerous organizations and associations support American Heart Health Month every February, campaigning to raise awareness about heart disease and educate people on how to prevent it. As heart-related diseases are considered the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, predominantly affecting the elderly population, together with a professional home care aide, we have prepared the following info sheet that can help your senior loved one improve their heart health.
Cardiovascular disease or simply heart disease is the general term used to categorize diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as coronary artery disease, silent ischemia, angina, heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, heart defects, and peripheral arterial disease, just to name a few.
The main cause of any heart disease is narrowing and blockage of the arteries by fatty plaques, a process known as atherosclerosis. Over the course of time, these plaques slowly deteriorate the walls of the arteries. As any professional home care aide can point out, this is usually caused by a combination of an unhealthy diet based on salty, sugary, and processed foods, lack of physical activity, obesity, smoking or drinking too much – factors that can easily be prevented.
Each and every heart condition has similar symptoms. The most common symptom of heart disease is chest pain. Seniors with chest pain, also known as angina, often experience accelerated pressure or a dull sensation of heaviness, discomfort, and fullness in their chest.
Other heart-related symptoms your senior loved one needs to be aware of include nausea, dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations that may feel like the heart is beating either too hard or too fast, irregular heartbeats, and sudden, unexpected feelings of overwhelming weakness. When your senior parent or relative complains about any of these signs, urge them to visit their physician as soon as possible.
Nowadays, many older adults can successfully prevent and/or manage various heart conditions through healthy lifestyle choices. A professional home care aide can recommend these simple strategies as they can help your senior mom or dad prevent heart disease:
Apart from educating yourself and your senior loved one, our home care aide suggests you consider making a small donation to an organization that funds heart research and remember to wear red in support of American Heart Health Month this February.