Home Care Blog>In Home Care | January 16, 2017
Atrial Fibrillation in Seniors | In atrial fibrillation, the heart starts to beat extremely rapidly – from 300 to 600 beats a minute. To put this in perspective, a normal resting heart rate is only 60 to 70 beats a minute. This type of irregular heartbeat is most common in seniors with the risks of developing AF doubling every ten years after the age of 50.
While AF is not dire in and of itself, it greatly increases the risk of medical conditions which are very serious such as thromboembolisms, dementia, and depression. If not caught in time, thromboembolisms can lead to a stroke and or death.
Atrial fibrillation is often a symptom of an underlying problem or condition such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and congestive heart failure. It can also stem from dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance, alcoholism, and even stress.
The primary way to treat hypertension is through medication therapy and non-medical lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet modification.
Home care can be an essential element in helping a senior lose weight and eat a healthy diet. Many seniors who are obese, suffer from hypertension, or have AF, also struggle with at least one daily living task. In addition to the risks associated with AF, these seniors also risk losing their independence and quality of life. Home care can provide supports that range from light housekeeping and laundry to shopping, cooking, and personal care.
Seniors who require medications to deal with their AF may find that their medication management program is getting overwhelming, as most seniors over 65 already take at least 5 to 10 different medications. If your senior loved one requires support with their medication management, home care from Comfort Keepers will keep them on-track.
In short, atrial fibrillation is common among seniors, but it is also a condition that should not be taken lightly. Many risk factors, such as obesity and hypertension, can be limited through exercise and a proper diet. Other times, medication may be necessary. Whatever their unique situation, a home caregiver can provide the supports your loved one needs in their fight against AF.