Geriatric Cardiovascular Conditions. Old age comes with the degeneration of all the body systems, and the cardiovascular system is not spared either. The elderly suffer from various cardiovascular disorders including myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease among others. Aging is associated with a reduction in arterial compliance, collagen deposition and also increased cardiovascular mass which predisposes to cardiovascular diseases (Waldstein & Elias, 2015).
Myocardial infarction refers to the death of some of the heart muscles due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients. The cardiac muscle is therefore unable to pump blood efficiently to all the body parts. The elderly are also prone to heart failure which as the name suggests, is the inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently. The blood accumulates either in the heart or the peripheral tissues.
Health education is essential to curb the high morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular diseases. The young people as well as the elderly ought to be informed about the condition so as to prevent it and even cope better. The young people should be aware of the risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases(Fillit, Rockwood & Young, 2016). These risk factors include depression, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle and smoking among others. They should then go ahead and change the modifiable factors that could make them develop cardiovascular disease. They should also learn to take control of their health such that they eat healthily, limit alcohol, maintain a healthy weight and also reduce their blood cholesterol levels. The at-risk individuals should also engage in regular follow-up to identify any signs of cardiovascular disease early and institute appropriate measures.
The older adults with cardiovascular disease should be encouraged to adhere to the treatment regimen strictly. They should accept to take drugs as prescribed and change their lifestyle as it is necessary (Fillit, Rockwood & Young, 2016). The older adults should be aware of the signs of heart attack such that they can shout for help in due time whenever it might strike. They should be careful so as to point out any chest discomfort, nausea, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath which are all signs of impending heart attack and raise the alarm on time.
Fillit, H. M., Rockwood, K., & Young, J. B. (2016). Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Waldstein, S. R., & Elias, M. F. (Eds.). (2015). Neuropsychology of cardiovascular disease. Psychology Press.