How to Manage and Care for Seniors with Heart Diseases

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Care for Heart Diseases
Seniors suffering from heart disease can find it daunting to cope with it. Often the families struggle with their loved one’s care. Understanding the disease, having a coping strategy in place and maintaining a disciplined, healthy and low-stress lifestyle is critical. We share a few tips on caring for seniors with heart diseases.

In Canada, an estimated one-in-twelve adults over the age of twenty is diagnosed with some heart condition. 

 

Canadian seniors are especially vulnerable to heart diseases and it is the second leading cause of death in Canada among seniors. In fact, 85% of the patients with heart failure in Canada are over the age of 65. The prevalence of heart disease is higher among senior men than among senior women.

 

 Among Canadian seniors, knowledge about the risk factors of heart diseases is poor and many seniors do not know enough about these diseases to help themselves.

 

Common Forms of Heart Diseases Among Canadian Seniors

 

Although several heart diseases can afflict seniors, the following are the most common among seniors:

 

  • Ischemic Heart Disease – which is caused by narrowed heart arteries.

 

  • Coronary Heart Disease – which is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries supplying blood to the heart.

 

  • Heart Failure – which is caused by the heart muscle’s inability to pump enough blood.

 

  • Atrial Fibrillation – which is caused by irregular heart rhythm which can lead to the formation of blood clots in the heart.

 

How can Heart Diseases Impact Seniors?

 

Once a senior develops  heart disease, they have to make many changes to their lifestyle to strengthen and prolong the life of their heart. These can include:

 

  • Cardiac Rehab. A doctor may recommend attending cardiac rehabilitation which helps a senior’s mobility and overall health. 

 

  • Medication. The senior may be put on pain control and other medication to help improve the heart condition. 

 

  • Regular Assessments. As the disease affects the heart, regular checkups are needed to monitor the progress and diagnose any complications. 
  • Diet and Exercise. The seniors would need to change their diet to include healthy foods with low fat and low sodium content. They may also need to exercise regularly if recommended by their physicians.

 

  • Activities Reduction. The senior may have to reduce doing household chores and other activities as their doctors may recommend avoiding straining the body excessively.

 

 

Common Risk Factors for Heart Diseases Among Seniors

 

Heart diseases, like many other diseases,  may develop over time as a consequence of a person’s lifestyle, environment and genetics. Following are some of the risks associated with an individual likely to develop heart diseases: 

 

  • Family History. A senior with a family history of heart disease is more likely to develop heart disease.

 

  • Mental Health Depression and anxiety can cause heart disease.

 

  • Unhealthy Diet. Adults and seniors with bad eating habits and excessively sugary, fatty, and salty diets can develop heart complications.

 

  • Weight Issues. Individuals with obesity or a tendency to gain weight are at a higher risk of developing heart diseases

 

  • Sedentary Lifestyle. An inactive lifestyle can cause excessive fat buildup in arteries. Fat causes the narrowing of the arteries and increases blood pressure which can cause heart diseases.

 

  • Cholesterol. High cholesterol levels cause the narrowing and blockage of the coronary arteries; this causes the heart to not get oxygenated blood and makes it prone to many complications.

 

  • Diabetes History. A diabetic senior or a senior with a family history of diabetes is more vulnerable to heart-related complications than those without diabetes. 

 

  • Smoking. Seniors who smoke are at a higher risk of developing heart diseases than those who don’t. Tar and nicotine in cigarette smoke damage the lungs and heart.

 

How to Cope with Heart Diseases

 

It can be worrisome when a senior gets diagnosed with a heart condition. However, there are many coping strategies that seniors and their families can use to deal with heart diseases:

 

  1. Be Informed. Doctors can be the primary source of information for how to care for heart diseases. In addition, there are many resources available online. Staying informed can help seniors and their families make the right medical and lifestyle decisions. 

 

  1. Be Prepared. Well-informed and well-prepared families can make the right decisions on how to respond to emergencies. Families and caregivers should also get CPR training.

 

  1. Be Consistent. Seniors with heart conditions must never miss a doctors’ appointment or a scheduled checkup. They should also consistently implement lifestyle changes and diet tips recommended by the doctor. 

 

  1. Get Support. There are support options available such as support groups online and in-person coaching. These offer hope and reduce stress for both the seniors and their family members.

 

 

How ConsidraCare Caregivers can Help Seniors with Heart Disease

 

ConsidraCare hires seasoned, experienced and trained caregivers, who are well versed in providing care to seniors with heart diseases. Some of the ways they can care for seniors with heart diseases include:

 

  • Helping the seniors stick with the  daily routine recommended by their doctors

 

  • Preparing healthy meals

 

  • Ensuring timely intake of medicine

 

  • Monitoring and recording vitals (blood pressure readings, blood sugar monitoring)

 

  • Keeping the senior safe and calling emergency services if needed

 

  • Providing encouragement and company to the seniors to maintain their spirits

 

  • Performing chores and running errands to reduce the physical load on the seniors

 

Conclusion

 

Seniors suffering from heart disease can find it daunting to cope with it. Often the families struggle with their loved one’s care. Understanding the disease, having a coping strategy in place and maintaining a disciplined, healthy and low-stress lifestyle is critical. Professional caregivers, such as those from ConsidraCare, can provide the right support needed by the seniors and their families to manage the challenges of heart disease.

 

Want to learn more? 

 

You can learn more about caring for heart diseases in our chronic diseases care brochure

 

Please reach out to us at wecare@considracare.com, or call us at 1-855-410-7971, and we will be happy to understand and help you with the care needs of a loved one.

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