How Does Aging Affect Your Senior’s Heart?

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Growing older creates new and different strains for your elderly family member’s heart and circulatory system. Figuring out how to work around these issues can help your elderly family member to avoid serious health issues.

Her Heart Works Harder than it Used to Work

Over time, your senior’s heart may be forced to work more than it had to in the past, even without extra stress and strain on it. The heart is a muscle and when it hasn’t been worked more than as much as it needs to in order to just exist, that muscle isn’t as strong as it could be. This is part of why your elderly family member’s doctor recommends exercise to her. Engaging in exercise helps to strengthen her heart, which pays off down the road.

Arteries and Other Blood Vessels Stiffen

Blood vessels throughout your elderly family member’s body also age and may become a little less elastic over the years. They also tend to build up plaque and other problems which keep them from working as well as they need to work. Your senior might notice this most when she’s having issues with poor circulation or when her blood pressure is higher than normal.

High Blood Pressure and Other Issues Become a Factor

Eventually, high blood pressure can become your elderly family member’s new normal. Her cholesterol levels may also rise, which can cause big trouble. These problems crop up because your aging family member’s circulatory system isn’t working as well as it should be. Ironically, these same problems create more of a burden on her circulatory system, creating a vicious circle that continues to damage her overall health.

What Can She Do?

The best thing that your elderly family member can do is to listen to her doctor’s advice, which likely consists of exercising regularly and moderating her diet. You can also help her to do other things, such as reducing her stress levels. When your aging adult tries to hold onto activities that cause her stress, such as driving when it’s not as safe, she can do herself a disservice. You might be better served by hiring elder care providers to drive for her. As she starts to feel better, your elderly family member might help you find more creative solutions.

Keep up with doctor’s appointments so that you and your elderly family member can make sure that you’re covering all of her concerns about her heart health. Staying on top of your senior’s changing health issues allows you to adjust how she’s managing her care plan.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Ashburn, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.