A female caregiver comforts an Asian senior man in his house experiencing chest pain.

Heart Disease Symptoms to Watch for in Seniors

Last updated on January 31, 2024

Heart disease is a prevalent health issue among seniors, posing significant impacts on their well-being and quality of life. As people age, their risk of developing heart-related issues, like heart attacks and strokes, increases. Spotting early signs of heart disease is critical and can help your aging loved one lower their risk of hospitalization, heart attack, and heart failure.

Heart disease signs can take many forms in people over 65. You may notice these symptoms—which can appear gradually or suddenly—before your elderly loved one does. If you spot new or worsening symptoms, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately.

Unfortunately, your senior may attempt to downplay or conceal symptoms to spare you from concern or worry. Encourage them as much as possible to be open and honest about their physical ailments so they can receive appropriate care before symptoms worsen.

Heart Disease Symptoms and Risk Factors

Certain types of heart disease may not show noticeable signs. In contrast, other types can have symptoms easily mistaken for various health conditions.

Common symptoms of heart disease in seniors include:

  • Shortness of breath when lying down, walking, or during a conversation
  • Fatigue and weakness with daily tasks, like folding laundry
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Increased urination at night
  • Chest pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in legs, ankles, and feet
  • Rapid weight gain from fluid retention (5 pounds or more within a few days)
  • Increased anxiety or depression

A few other contributing factors for heart disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • History of tobacco use
  • Overweight or obesity

Talk with your elderly loved one’s doctor about their risk factors and symptoms— especially symptoms that start suddenly or worsen over time. Getting proper heart care will help them feel better and relieve some of your worries about their health.

How Visiting Angels Caregivers Can Help

Visiting Angels professional caregivers can be on hand at home to observe your aging loved one for any troubling symptoms, such as changes in energy levels, behavior, or mood. Visiting Angels will inform you of issues that you can discuss with your loved one’s physician.

Caring for a senior with heart problems means adjusting daily habits, tasks, and activities. Visiting Angels will help you make little adaptations to make a big impact on your senior’s health and happiness. Professional caregivers can teach you tips such as:

  • Checking for shoe and sock tightness to avoid pain and sores
  • Elevating their feet to reduce fluid swelling
  • Enjoying hobbies and conversation together to improve mood
  • Helping them walk to the bed or toilet and avoid falls
  • Lowering sodium intake to manage fluid retention
  • Propping up their head with pillows and relieve shortness of breath
  • Reporting sudden weight increases, which can signal fluid retention

Visiting Angels supports individuals with the following services and more—depending on personal and requested needs:

Heart disease and heart failure symptoms are manageable when seniors get fast, appropriate care. A Visiting Angels caregiver will provide an extra set of eyes to alert you to new or worsening health concerns. Contact us today for more information.

If you're interested in our compassionate home care services for you or a loved one, contact your nearest Visiting Angels home care agency today or call 800-365-4189.
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