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Your Parents and Heart Health – What You Need To Know

Being a father comes with a lot of responsibilities. Not only do you have to care for your own children, but your own parents will be getting older, so you’ll want to make sure they’re taking care of themselves and be aware of any potential problems with their health. When it comes to monitoring the physical wellbeing of the elderly, heart health should be the top priority, as a serious cardiac event can sometimes strike seemingly out of the blue. Sally Diamond from highlights five crucial warning signs you should be looking out for to ensure your parents remain healthy for many years to come.


1. Coughing

Coughing or wheezing that persists over a long period of time can actually be a sign of heart trouble. If the heart can’t keep up with the lungs, it can cause fluid to build up, leading to a lot of coughing. If your parent’s persistent cough is coincided by white or pink mucus, it could mean the heart is struggling.

2. Swelling

Edema, or the buildup of fluid in different parts of the body, is another sign of heart trouble that may not be obvious. If the heart is pumping blood at a slower-than-normal rate, fluid could become backed up in body tissue. Sudden weight gain or noticeable swelling in the feet or legs are common symptoms of edema that could indicate a heart issue.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue is another symptom to watch for in the elderly. Yes, seniors will feel more tired in general than younger people, but common everyday activities like walking or grocery shopping shouldn’t make them feel tired and light-headed. This can be a sign that the heart isn’t pumping enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Light exercise can improve blood circulation and help to prevent the likelihood of stroke or a heart attack.

4. Digestion

Digestive issues could also be related to a weak heart. If the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, the digestive system will receive less blood, possibly leading to problems like nausea or just a general lack of appetite. 

5. Brain

A change in mental faculties is also a possible symptom of heart problems in the elderly. If the heart isn’t pumping blood properly, it’s possible to become disoriented and have difficulty thinking normally. Again, this can just be a sign of old age, but if it happens frequently, it could mean the heart isn’t doing its job.

Obviously, there are also more obvious symptoms of heart problems in seniors to look out for, including shortness of breath or heart palpitations. However, it’s equally important to be aware of other symptoms that can tip you off to a potential heart problem. Remember, sometimes being a parent means looking out for the older generation as much as the younger one.

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