Heart disease is the primary cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 25 percent of deaths occurring in the country are related to heart disease, which is a generic phrase for different types of cardiovascular conditions. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Safety Harbor families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Of all the possible reasons for having heart disease, these six are the most common.
Plaque buildup in blood vessel walls, which is known as atherosclerosis, can cause cardiovascular disease. Narrowed arteries can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease. Untreated inflammation and high LDL cholesterol levels cause plaque formation. Infections must be treated properly. Eating a healthy diet consisting of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains helps keep cholesterol levels in check.
Arrhythmias refer to heart rates that are too slow, too fast, or irregular. The condition may eventually weaken the heart and affect pumping ability. Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants can help stop tachycardia, or fast rhythms. Medications are often prescribed to treat bradycardia, tachycardia, or irregular heart rhythms caused by issues with hormones, neurotransmitters, or the sinoatrial node.
3. Inflammatory Heart Disease
Inflammation from infection or autoimmune diseases can cause damage to the heart muscle, the valves, the cardiac membrane, and the inner lining of the organ. Eliminating inflammation through dietary measures or medications may reduce the risk of incurring heart damage. To prevent inflammatory heart disease, dentists often prescribe prophylactic antibiotics before performing invasive procedures.
4. Heart Failure
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 5.7 million people in the United States live with heart failure and nearly 10 percent of deaths are caused by this type of cardiac disease. The problem occurs when the heart muscle undergoes sufficient damage and cannot pump enough blood. Following a proper diet and exercising regularly can help keep the cardiovascular system healthy. Other preventable risk factors may include obesity, smoking, or excessive use of alcohol.
Cardiovascular problems can lead to cognitive impairment in aging adults. Contact your senior loved one’s doctor to discuss the risks of developing dementia. Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Safety Harbor, FL, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to slow the progression of dementia, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care.
5. Rheumatic Heart Disease
This disease occurs when someone develops rheumatic fever. The bacterial infection damages the heart muscle and valves and decreases the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. The damage might also progress over time. The condition typically occurs in young people but may affect older adults. Preventive measures include antibiotic treatment to prevent systemic involvement.
6. Congenital Heart Disease
This term refers to cardiac abnormalities that are present at birth. The problems may include holes in the heart or defective valves. There may be abnormalities in blood vessel location or in the way vessels interconnect with the heart. Depending on the specific problem, seniors may need medications or surgical intervention to manage the condition. Many people born with congenital cardiovascular disorders require ongoing monitoring by a cardiologist.
Heart disease is just one of many conditions that can make aging in place challenging. Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Safety Harbor, Florida, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance at 727-330-7862 for more information about our senior care services.