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Understanding How the Heart Changes with Age

Home Care Assistance in Castle Rock CO

It’s common knowledge that the body undergoes a variety of changes as it ages, and the heart is no different. Understanding these changes and how to ensure the best heart health is essential for seniors to live their best lives. With home care assistance by their side, seniors gain valuable knowledge about those changes and the necessary steps to maintain good health.

Structural Changes

The structure of the heart is the most obvious alteration that happens with age. Essentially, the heart’s chambers can expand, and its walls can get thicker. The thickening, often referred to as left ventricular hypertrophy, happens as a result of the heart having to pump blood more forcefully. Additionally, the heart muscle may also stiffen with age, decreasing its pumping power.

Decreased Heart Rate

The sinoatrial (SA) node, the heart’s natural pacemaker, may lose some of its cells as the heart ages, resulting in a slowed heartbeat. In addition, there may be a reduction in the heart’s capacity to react to stress and exercise. For this reason, seniors may find they are unable to maintain the same level of physical activity they once did. With home care assistance, seniors can explore what activities work best.

Modifications to Blood Vessels

As seniors age, their blood vessels—veins and arteries—also alter. Arteriosclerosis is the term for the hardening and weakening of arteries. The heart may find it more difficult to pump blood through them as a result of their rigidity, which could raise the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

Modifications to the Electrical System

Age can bring about changes in the electrical system of the heart, which regulates heartbeat. Arrhythmias, or irregular cardiac rhythms, are becoming more prevalent. These may result from loss of cardiac cells in the electrical circuits or structural alterations to the heart.

Elevated Heart Disease Risk

One of the main risk factors for heart disease is getting older. Atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and coronary artery disease are among the conditions that are becoming more common. The accumulation of plaque within the arteries may result in atherosclerosis, leading to an elevated risk of strokes and heart attacks.

A Lower Max Heart Rate

Age also alters the heart’s maximal heart rate—the highest pace it can reach during vigorous exercise. The alteration results in a decrease, which means seniors may need to modify the intensity of their exercise regimen to prevent exhaustion.

Sustaining Cardiovascular Health Despite Changes

Even though these changes are a normal aspect of aging, seniors can take the following actions to keep their hearts healthy:

  • Frequent Exercise: Physical activity on a regular basis strengthens the heart and enhances cardiovascular health. Seniors should try to get in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-to-intense activity.
  • Healthy Diet: Seniors can utilize home care assistance to create and maintain a well-balanced diet that can help control blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.
  • Frequent Check-ups: By seeing their doctor on a regular basis, seniors can keep an eye on the condition of their hearts and identify any possible problems early.
  • Stress Management: Prolonged stress has a detrimental effect on cardiac health. Stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises may help.

The heart will inevitably change with age, but by being aware of these changes, home care can help seniors take preventative measures to keep their hearts healthy.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care assistance in Castle Rock, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY Home Care of Parker. 303-953-9924