If your aging loved one has a history of heart issues, it can be important to keep an eye out for signs of heart failure. While not as sudden as a heart attack, it can still be deadly. Generally, it occurs when the heart’s muscles become weaker, and have difficulty pumping blood. Below, we will discuss what heart failure is, and how you can identify its signs and symptoms.
Heart Failure or Heart Attack?
A heart attack is a sudden stoppage of the heart, often caused by coagulation or clot. On the other hand, heart failure is a chronic condition that slowly progresses. Often, a heart attack has little to no prior warning. Both conditions are types of heart disease.
During heart failure, the heart’s muscles become weaker and less efficient. This causes blood to build up in the heart as it moves more slowly. From there, the valves and chambers stretch to accommodate the higher blood volume in the heart. This further reduces the effectiveness of the heart.
With blood moving more slowly through the body, the kidneys can react by helping the body retain more salt and fluids. This can lead to Congestive Heart Failure.
Common Causes Of Heart Failure
Many factors can contribute to heart failure. The more of the below factors that your loved one has, the higher their risk of developing this condition. Common factors may include:
- History of abuse
- Chemotherapy treatments
- Congenital heart defects
- Lung disease
- Thyroid issues
- Substance abuse issues
- Family history
Consider talking with your loved one or their doctor if you think that they may be at risk for heart failure.
Signs of Heart Failure
Unfortunately, this condition can often go undetected, as some of the symptoms may also occur from other chronic conditions or medication side effects. Being able to identify that your loved one is suffering from these symptoms may be a cause for concern. These symptoms may include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Significant changes in weight
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Additionally, there may be other symptoms if your loved one is suffering from congestive heart failure. This may include swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet, as fluid buildup occurs.
If Your Elderly Loved One Is Having Heart Issues
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from concerning heart-related health issues, you should discuss it with them. Consider talking with their doctor, or taking them to see a cardiologist. If your loved one is living alone, consider hiring additional in-home care. Having someone around to provide care can be important. In the event of a heart attack or other cardiac episode, having someone there to contact an ambulance can make a huge difference.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us by clicking here, or by calling (718)-979-6900.