Dr. Andrew Yun,
The average person’s heart beats about 2.5 billion times in its lifetime, continuously supplying oxygen and other nutrients to the brain and other important organs. As people grow older, even a healthy heart can begin to weaken as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, genetic predisposition, and other factors, increasing the risk of heart disease and ultimately heart failure. There is sex.
Many people confuse the term “heart failure” with a heart attack. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is still functioning, but it is inefficient and does not pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body. A heart attack is one of the possible causes of heart failure. However, most people with heart failure have never had a heart attack before and have never had heart failure for any other reason.
Older people are at increased risk of heart failure
Heart failure affects the elderly in an imbalance and is a major cause of morbidity, hospitalization and death in people over the age of 65. National Institute of Health.. Age-related changes can increase the risk of heart disease. One of the main causes of heart disease is the accumulation of fatty cholesterol in the walls of the coronary arteries of the heart. It accumulates throughout a person’s life.
One of the challenges facing older people is that the assessment, diagnosis, and management of heart failure in older people is often complicated by other age-related diseases and conditions that can also affect the heart. is.
Symptoms of heart failure
The common symptoms of heart failure in the elderly are:
- Chronic cough and / or wheezing;
- Shortness of breath when lying down or with physical activity;
- Especially swelling of the lower limbs;
- Unexplained weight gain;
- Increased heart rate;
- Loss of appetite;
When to see a doctor
If you are concerned that the elderly or their caregivers are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please call 911.
- Chest pain;
- Syncope or severe weakness;
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats associated with shortness of breath, chest pain or syncope;
- Severe shortness of breath.
Heart failure management in the elderly
There are things you can do to delay, reduce, or reverse the risk of heart failure.
Here are some of the treatments that experts may focus on in patients with heart failure:
- diet: Regarding the management of heart failure in the elderly Diet is one of the most important aspects of treatment.. Older people and their caregivers need to work with their doctors to discuss the best dietary options. Sodium and liquid intake should be limited according to the doctor’s specifications.
- exercise: If possible, patients with heart failure should participate in a monitored exercise program called cardiac rehabilitation and work closely with medical professionals to participate in physical activity that best supports their needs. need to confirm.When
- Dosing plan: It is important that the patient takes the prescribed medication and does not miss it. Some medications improve how well the heart pumps. Others can remove excess water from the body, dilate blood vessels to help blood circulate more easily, and prevent the heart from working too hard. Please note that the drug is specially prescribed for each individual’s specific needs. Elderly people may have multiple chronic illnesses, conditions, or injuries, so do not adjust prescription medications or take over-the-counter medications without first consulting your doctor. If you have any problems or side effects as a result of the prescribed medication, contact your doctor immediately for instructions.
If older friends and family are living with heart failure, they can benefit from additional support. Here’s how to do this:
- Attend an appointment with them.
- Regularly track vital signs and weight.
- Maintain an accurate dosing log.
- Keep a diary of their health journey;
- Stay educated about their condition by asking a lot of questions during the test.
- Be aware of drug interactions, especially if the dosage of prescription drugs is changed or new drugs are introduced.
- Visit patients frequently enough to notice activity, swelling, fluid intake, increased or decreased mental health, and other changes.
- Report any changes to your doctor.
Heart failure in the elderly has many challenges, but it does not have to be faced by the elderly alone. Find a Memorial Care Heart & Vascular Institute Specialist who can support heart failure management at 800-MEMORIAL (800-636-6742) or memorialcare.org/LBHeart..
Andrew Yoon, MD, is the Director of Heart Failure Medical Care at the Memorial Care Heart & Vascular Institute.
Heart failure and aging, a guide to managing the condition – Press Enterprise Source link Heart failure and aging, a guide to managing the condition – Press Enterprise