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What Are the Symptoms of Heart Failure in Seniors?

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When the heart is healthy, it pumps blood throughout the body. Some older adults experience heart failure, a condition that hinders the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently. When this happens, blood can remain in the tissues and cause a variety of symptoms. The following are signs of heart failure a caregiver might observe in an older loved one.

Increased Heart Rate

Individuals with heart failure may complain of heart palpitations or a racing heart due to an increased heart rate. The faster heart rate is a result of the heart working harder to pump blood.

Shortness of Breath & Coughing

Heart failure symptoms include shortness of breath, both during periods of activity and while resting or sleeping. Older adults with heart failure may find lying down makes breathing more difficult. Shortness of breath results when fluid leaks into the lungs and blood backs up in the vessels of the lungs. The fluid that builds up in the lungs can also cause coughing and wheezing.

Severe shortness of breath can make everyday tasks challenging for aging adults. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Edema

Edema (swelling) in the abdomen, ankles, feet, and legs is also a sign of heart failure in older adults. The kidneys are unable to get rid of excess fluid, and an older adult can gain two or more pounds per day due to fluid retention. Swelling in the legs and ankles makes it difficult for a person with heart failure to wear shoes. 

Confusion

If the body cannot get rid of excess fluid, the increase in sodium affects brain function. When this happens in an older adult, a caregiver might observe the senior experiencing memory loss or confusion.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Amarillo seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Fatigue

An older adult with heart failure may have a difficult time walking or climbing stairs. Activities an older adult previously enjoyed, such as gardening or shopping, may become exhausting.

Appetite Loss or Nausea

Diminished blood flow to the digestive system can make it difficult for a person with heart failure to digest food. As a result, the individual may feel full or nauseated and be unable to eat.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior home care. Amarillo Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. Call Home Care Assistance today at (806) 803-9991 to schedule a free in-home consultation.