Heart Disease (Cardiovascular Disease)
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The big umbrella term for diseases of the heart and blood vessels is cardiovascular disease. It also encompasses coronary heart disease (clogged or blocked arteries), stroke, congenital heart defects, congestive heart failure, and peripheral artery disease.
What Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that affect the heart’s structure and function. First, for seniors, the most common form of cardiovascular disease is coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease (aka clogged arteries and atherosclerosis) occurs when combinations of cholesterol, calcium, fat and other substances (plaque) builds up in arteries. The plaque can also lead to blockages and clots. This blocks the flow of blood to the heart which can cause pain, also known as angina. If the plaque creates a blockage, you can also get a heart attack.
Additionally, there are cardiovascular issues that affect the brain, like strokes, that are different in terms of the organ they impact. Definitely see our section on strokes.
Surgeries For Heart Disease
So many of seniors will get heart disease it should be noted that surgery has become a common treatment option. Not only have surgeries become common, but they also have become safter.
CarePlanIt classifies every issue into one of five key areas: health, housing, finances, end-of-life chores & family communication. Once done, the CarePlanIt framework allows you to create an optimized process of addressing the challenge. You minimize your family’s time and costs while maximizing your chance at reaching an ideal solution. Although all five categories work together, it’s important to make an initial categorization.
Heart disease is a “Health” issue that is evaluated by the chronic or temporary effects of the disease. Whereas you might get better or return to full functionality after a stroke or heart attack, congestive heart failure is permanent. CarePlanIt’s classification of health issues can help you better understand the impact of heart disease on your life. In short, both chronic and temporary effects of heart disease need to be managed properly or devastating complications can arise. The senior, their spouse and the entire family need to understand these implications. However, depending on the severity of the condition, staying at home may be challenging, even impossible.
To prevent the disease:
To treat the disease:
Additional information can be found below:
Heart disease information from the CDC – click here
There’s also good information on heart disease from the Mayo Clinic – here
Heart disease information from the Cleveland Clinic – click here