Facebook Pixel

6 Signs of Heart Failure in Aging Adults

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on February 10, 2020

Heart failure occurs when the heart is no longer capable of pumping blood properly through the body. This condition can occur due to a variety of reasons, including congenital deformities as well as lifestyle-related heart disease. Elderly people are more likely to experience heart failure due to issues that accompany aging, such as more wear and tear being placed on the cardiovascular system. These six symptoms are all associated with heart failure in seniors, and they should serve as signs that it’s time to seek professional assistance.

1. A General Sense of Fatigue

When the heart can’t pump blood through the body efficiently, seniors may lack the oxygen needed to reach the different parts of the body. Older adults often experience this as an extreme sense of fatigue that permeates their entire day. Your loved one may be wiped out after even simple tasks, such as getting dressed in the morning.

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 families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Swelling in the Extremities

A properly functioning heart is strong enough to push the blood down through the arms and legs and back up to the heart so circulation is maintained. Once the heart fails, fluid begins to accumulate in the extremities, and it’s difficult to pump the fluid back up. The ankles and feet are where this tends to be the most noticeable.

3. Shortness of Breath

Fluid accumulation can also begin to occur in the abdomen and lungs, which decreases the amount of room the lungs have to expand during breathing. Your loved one may find he or she is short of breath just from a brief walk or simple activity that previously didn’t leave him or her so winded.

4. Congestion and Coughing

Shortness of breath isn’t the only lung issue heart failure can cause. Your loved one’s respiratory system may also try to help him or her cough up the excess fluid, leading to increased amounts of coughing and wheezing that could affect your loved one’s comfort levels.

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. Tucson seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

5. Confusion and Disorientation

A failing heart is also unable to get enough oxygen-rich blood to the brain, which leads to some of the symptoms of oxygen deprivation. Your loved one may have increased memory loss and confusion that impact the ability to think clearly. Seniors may need help remembering to take their medication and assistance with other treatments, such as oxygen therapy, during this stage of heart failure.

6. Limiting Activities

Seniors who are exhausted, short of breath, and experiencing uncomfortable swelling in their feet may begin to alter their daily routines. Your loved one may lose interest in trying to do the things he or she loves or simply be unable to complete them. This is the time when you’ll need to increase the assistance your loved one receives at home. Having someone else do things such as housekeeping helps your loved one preserve energy for maintaining his or her health. 

Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated senior home care, Tucson, AZ, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caring for your loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.