Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which your senior’s heart doesn’t beat in a regular manner.
Atrial fibrillation can be extremely mild and might not cause her much of a problem at all. But it can also be severe and cause significant disruption to her quality of life. Here are some signs to watch out for if your senior has A-fib.
Difficulty Breathing Normally
The circulatory system is tied directly to the respiratory system. So if your senior’s heart is experiencing difficulties, one of the first signs she might experience can involve her breathing. If she’s having trouble breathing while she’s resting, that is something that her doctor needs to examine further.
Fatigue, Even After Rest
Your senior’s body might be working harder than it really should have to work, just to keep her going. When that’s the case, your elderly family member is more likely to feel exhausted, even if she’s been sleeping fairly well. You might want to track her sleep for a couple of days to see how well she’s really sleeping and then talk with her doctor.
When your elderly family member is feeling lightheaded, that means that her circulatory system isn’t moving enough oxygen throughout her body. Her blood pressure might be too low or she might have other issues related to medications she’s taking for her heart condition. Lightheadedness can be a huge risk factor for falling, so take precautions to ensure your senior is safe when she’s feeling lightheaded.
Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Normally, someone’s heart rate will be faster with exertion than at rest. If your elderly family member is experiencing a racing heartbeat or otherwise abnormal heart rhythm, that can be a sign that something else is going on. Keep track of when it’s happening and make sure to bring the problem up with your senior’s doctor.
Edema is a type of swelling that typically happens in extremities, like your senior’s lower legs. It’s a common condition for people who have problems with their circulatory system because the heart and blood vessels aren’t able to properly move that fluid back up out of the legs. If edema is increasing, this is a sign that your senior’s condition is most likely worsening. Talk to her doctor right away.
Any time you notice new or odd symptoms, make sure that you mention them to your senior’s doctor. It can help to have elder care providers on hand when you’re not able to be there with your senior. That way they can let you know if anything unusual occurs.