Cardiomyopathy is a condition that affects the heart muscle, affecting how well it can pump blood throughout the body. It is a disease that can cause heart failure. Being aware of the symptoms of cardiomyopathy and what causes it can help you to recognize it in your aging parent.
What Are the Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy?
When people first get cardiomyopathy, they may not notice any symptoms. As the disease worsens, symptoms will begin to appear. Some symptoms that may occur are:
• A feeling of breathlessness that can happen either when the senior is active or when they are resting.
• Swollen legs, feet, and ankles.
• Swelling in the abdomen caused by fluid.
• Coughing when lying down.
• Irregular heartbeat that feels too fast, pounding, or that flutters.
• A feeling of discomfort or pain in the chest.
• Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
If your elderly parent is experiencing any of these symptoms, they should see a doctor. Severe shortness of breath, fainting, and chest pain that lasts longer than a couple of minutes are all reasons to call 911.
Because cardiomyopathy can be hereditary, if the older adult’s parent had cardiomyopathy, it may be wise to have them screened for it.
What Causes Cardiomyopathy?
Doctors are often unable to determine a cause of cardiomyopathy. When they can, it is usually caused by another condition or it is hereditary. Some underlying conditions that can lead to cardiomyopathy are:
• High blood pressure.
• Damage to the heart because of a heart attack.
• Problems with heart valves.
• Long-term excessive use of alcohol.
• Some kinds of infections, especially those that cause inflammation in the heart.
How Can Cardiomyopathy Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, there’s often no way to prevent cardiomyopathy. However, your parent may be able to lower their chances of getting the disease by following a healthier lifestyle. Some of the things they can do are:
• Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use: Drinking too much alcohol can damage the heart, so it’s important for older adults to use it in moderation.
• Control Existing Conditions: If your parent has high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, they need to follow the doctor’s treatment plan and keep the condition under control.
• Eat Well: A healthy diet can improve overall health, including heart health.
• Exercise: Regular exercise is also good for the heart.
Senior care can assist your parent to take steps toward preventing cardiomyopathy. A senior care provider can cook balanced, healthy meals that follow guidelines set for better heart health. Senior care providers can also assist with managing medical conditions by reminding your parent when it is time to take their medicine and watching for signs of problems. Senior care providers can even get your parent to be more physically active by getting them involved in household tasks, going for walks, or even driving them to an exercise class.
If you or an aging loved one needs Senior Care in Roseville, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services.Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.