American Heart Month occurs every February in the United States – and it’s an especially important observance since heart disease is the country’s leading cause of death. About 1.7 million people in the U.S. die each year from heart disease and heart-related conditions. Here are some Heart Facts to note:
- 2 million people over age 60 have a cardiovascular disease
- 51% of cardiovascular procedures were for people over age 65 in 2010
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States among seniors
- 70% of men between 60-79 years old have a heart disease
- Black men are at higher risk of heart problems
- The average age of first attack in men is 64.7 years
- Women between 65 and 84 are more likely to have a stroke
- Cardiovascular events tend to occur later in life for women than men
- High blood pressure is more common in women, averaging 80% for those over 75
Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, includes a number of health problems, and is a term used to cover a broad array of cardiovascular system impairments, including diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Structural problems with the heart include issues with valves, cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmia. Heart disease typically manifests in heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke.
Some of these are manageable conditions, but some are fatal if not handled properly and quickly. It is especially important for seniors and their caregivers to be aware of signs of heart issues. Click here to read more about the signs that need immediate attention and those that indicate a trip to the doctor is a priority.
Heart failure is one of the most common reasons people over 65 go to the hospital. The term “heart failure” sounds like the heart has completely stopped working, but in reality, heart failure means that the heart isn’t pumping as well as it should. Heart failure is one of the most common reasons that people over 65 go to the hospital. 24.8% of patients will be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days and approximately 50% will be readmitted within six months of being discharged for heart failure.
According to the American Heart Association (www.heart.org), people who have experienced heart failure can continue to live a full, enjoyable life as long as their condition is managed with medication and lifestyle changes. It is essential to put these changes into place to prevent readmission to the hospital. Assisting Hands Home Care serving Columbus, OH can help provide services so those lifestyle changes are an easy and smooth transition.
Below are services that home care can provide that align with evidence-based practices that are proven to reduce readmission rates for heart failure:
- Medication Reminders: It is critical that people who have heart failure take their medicine. Failure to take medications regularly—or not taking the proper dose—can cause a hospital readmission. Caregivers can help with medication reminders, knowing the proper doses, transportation to the pharmacy, and being educated on medication side effects.
- Diet Prep & Planning: It’s important for individuals who had heart failure to follow a diet that is low in sodium and pay close attention to how much fluid they are taking in. Caregivers can provide meal planning and prepping, help read labels, grocery shop, and track if there are any dietary restrictions based on medications an individual takes.
- Transportation to Doctor Appointments: Checking in with a healthcare team is essential after heart failure. Many patients will have multiple doctors including a cardiologist, a sarcoidosis specialist and a pacemaker specialist. Home care specialists can provide transportation to and from doctor visits as well as document each doctor’s instructions and help make sure there is proper follow up.
A study done by the AARP showed that 90% of individuals over age 65 want to stay at home as long as possible. Home care is a valuable option for an individual who desires to maintain their independence and continue their life in the comfort of their home. Give Assisting Hands Home Care serving Columbus, OH a call for a free consultation, and we’ll help put your mind at ease with the professional help you need.
Sources: ClearCare, American Heart Association, WebMD, Heart.org