Seniors who have circulation problems, especially if they also have other chronic illnesses, may be at risk for infections, leg weakness, accidents in the home, and blood clots. If your senior loved one has circulatory problems and is unable to live alone, consider an in-home eldercare provider. Here are some ways a caregiver can help your aging loved one lead a more productive, happy, and healthy life.
Help With Exercises
Exercise is essential for those with poor circulation. It helps enhance blood flow, increases strength, helps prevent leg weakness, and may help promote the healing of damaged blood vessels. The in-home eldercare provider can encourage your loved one to perform low-impact aerobic exercises or accompany him or her on leisurely walks outdoors. People with circulation problems may also have high blood pressure and diabetes, and exercise can help keep high blood pressure under control, lower serum glucose levels, and promote weight loss.
Poor circulation can also cause sleep problems because it can raise the risk for restless leg syndrome, calf pain, and morning stiffness. When the caregiver encourages and assists the senior with his or her exercises, these problems are less likely to occur.
Monitor Skin Condition
Seniors who have poor circulation are at a higher risk of developing stasis ulcers on the ankles and feet. If not recognized and treated promptly, they may become infected and cause permanent muscle damage.
The in-home caregiver can monitor your loved one's skin for subtle changes such as redness, temperature changes, and shiny skin. These may be signs of circulation problems that may need to be evaluated and treated to reduce stasis ulcer risks.
If these signs and symptoms are noticed, the caregiver can then call the physician, who will recommend that the patient make an appointment. If stasis ulcers have already developed, the caregiver can provide wound treatment to the affected areas as prescribed by the doctor.
Seniors with poor circulation may also have retinal problems of the eyes, which may make it difficult for them to assess their skin or check their body for ulcers, abrasions, and cuts. Poor circulation can lead to peripheral neuropathy too, which may cause a loss of sensation on the bottoms of the feet.
If your aging loved one has circulation problems and cannot live alone, consider eldercare. It will provide both you and your loved one with peace of mind, and it will help prevent complications associated with diminished blood flow.