For many reasons, seniors need companionship. Company and friendship help seniors feel connected, which is important for their health and mental state. While a main role of elder care is to spend time with a senior, there are some ancillary benefits related to the health of your loved one. Since elder care professionals are consistently present in the lives of seniors, they can spot potential health problems like poor circulation.
The circulatory system is the body’s interstate
Circulation is a general term to describe the process of blood flowing through the body, especially in the legs and feet. Blood flow is determined in part by the strength of the heart and how well it is beating. The circulatory system sends blood, oxygen, and nutrients through the body to the various organs needed to sustain life. Much like an interstate, the circulatory system is sensitive to any slowdowns, which result from other health conditions. Common causes of circulatory problems are:
• Arterial issues
• Blood clots
• Heart conditions
• Varicose veins
These conditions sometimes lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, which causes a reduction in blood flow to the limbs. Circulation problems can increase one’s risks of having a stroke or heart attack; thus, it is important to take any warning signs seriously.
Talk to seniors about symptoms of poor circulation
Elder care professionals can note common symptoms and warn the family of any of potential problems associated with poor circulation. Symptoms of poor circulation include:
• Cold extremities – hands and feet are not receiving the warming blood at healthy levels
• Changes in skin color of limbs – skin around extremities may become blue or black
• Muscle cramps – muscles are not getting the proper hydration and may be being deprived of oxygen
• Numbing or tingling in the extremities – extremities may feel like they are constantly “asleep”
• Throbbing or stinging in limbs – limbs feel as if they are pulsing or being stuck by needles
Manage the underlying conditions to manager poor circulation
Elder care professionals can help seniors manage the condition that is causing poor circulation. Many conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc., can be regulated with a proper diet and consistent exercise. Here are ways to manage poor circulation and control health risks related to the condition:
• Proper diet: Elder care professionals will prepare a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that can help blood flow by working to remove cholesterol and plaque from arteries. Also, drinking plenty of water can also help with circulation.
• Be active: Exercise is an important regulator of blood flow as it helps clear arteries. Special exercise programs recommended by physicians may be difficult due to pains associated with poor circulation, but an elder care professional can help a senior get started.
• Movement and positioning: If outdoor exercising is not an option, elder care professionals can help with simple movements and positioning to manage circulation. Seniors can perform foot exercises while sitting and watching their favorite show. Elevating the legs or warm water soaks help to circulate blood circulate into the torso area or prevents blood from congesting in legs which may encourage clot formation. Compression socks also discourages blood from settling in the legs but may be difficult for a senior to put on by themselves.
If you or someone you know needs help with Elder Care in Hudsonville, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable homecare services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
mmLearn.org – https://training.mmlearn.org/blog/seniors-circulation-and-what-caregivers-need-to-know (remove if possible)
healthline – https://www.healthline.com/health/poor-circulation-symptoms-causes#outlook
Senior health 365 – https://www.seniorhealth365.com/health/how-to-improve-leg-blood-flow-circulation/
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