Does Your Elderly Loved One Have Atrial Fibrillation?

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Medical form with words Atrial fibrillation (AFib).

It is important that you, as a family caregiver, know more about heart health issues that may be present in your elderly loved one. One of the conditions that you should know about is called atrial fibrillation.

Defining Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib, happens when the 2 top heart chambers beat rapidly and unpredictably This raises one’s risk for getting blood clots and it can cause a stroke. While this can happen to someone of any age, it happens more often in those who are 65 or older. Those who have diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure have a higher chance of getting Atrial Fibrillation, as well.

While this condition in itself is not necessarily fatal, it can cause current health conditions to worsen. The good news is that recognizing, diagnosing, and then treating atrial fibrillation early enough can prevent between 60 to 80% of strokes from happening. This is why it is essential to better understand AFib and how it may pronounce itself in your elderly loved one.

Guidance on the Signs/Symptoms of AFib

The American Heart Association states that the main symptom that occurs with Atrial Fibrillation is a fluttering and irregular heartbeat. The type of heartbeat will make the top heart chambers quiver. This raises the person’s chances of getting blood clots.

Having a heartbeat that is irregular is just one of the signs of Atrial Fibrillation. However, there are other things that could signify your elderly loved one has this condition, as well. These include the following:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Chest thumping
  • Being short of breath
  • Getting dizzy
  • Worsened anxiety
  • Feeling weak
  • Becoming confused
  • Sweating profusely
  • Getting extremely fatigued during or after exercising
  • Feeling severe pressure or pain in the chest

Keep in mind that everyone experiences AFib in a different way. Your elderly loved one may have a few of these symptoms or they may have them all. If your elderly loved one has any of these symptoms, you should have their senior care provider schedule an appointment and take them to their doctor.

Atrial Fibrillation Complications

There are some complications that could arise from AFib. Some of these complications include the following:

  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Blood clots

These can all become life-threatening for your elderly loved one.

Now that you know more about Atrial Fibrillation, if you or a senior care provider notice any of these symptoms in your elderly loved one, be sure to schedule them an appointment or get them medical care right away.


If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Purcellville, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655.