Tips on Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis in Elderly Loved Ones
One of the most common leg vein problems that elderly adults face is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It happens when a blood clot forms deep inside the leg in one of the veins there. Many seniors run a higher risk than average for developing deep vein thrombosis due to age and certain lifestyle choices. The good news is that DVT can be prevented or well-managed. All seniors need to do is implement some good lifestyle habits, get help from family members and senior care aides, and follow treatments recommended by a doctor.
Why is DVT Dangerous for Seniors?
Deep vein thrombosis describes when a blood clot forms in a leg vein that is deep within the tissue. The clot can interfere with circulation and blood flow from the legs to the heart. In extreme cases, the clot can break loose and travel to the lungs or the heart. Serious illness or even death may result. Seniors have a much higher risk of DVT than younger adults do.
The truth is that deep vein thrombosis requires certain conditions to occur, when an elderly person’s lifestyle and declining health are ideal. The risk factors associated with developing DVT include obesity, bed rest, sitting for long periods of time, long-term smoking, heart failure, cancer treatments, family history of DVT and blood clotting disorders. Seniors that are home-bound or bedridden are especially vulnerable if they don’t have help from a senior care aide or family member. All these reasons mean that aging adults are a high-risk group for the condition and are more likely to have complications.
Symptoms and Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Unless an aging adult is paying close attention, they can easily overlook the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis. Family members and senior care assistants are more likely to spot the warning signs during bathing and dressing the elderly person. Common symptoms include a change in the skin color, warmth in the clot area, leg cramps or swelling. Because many of these are associated with other conditions related to age, it can be easy to miss them.
Treatment is important because if the DVT is left alone, the elderly person could suffer from discomfort, pain, infection, and even death. The senior should see a doctor, who will outline a treatment plan. Usually, they are put on medication that prevents or reduces blood clots. The elderly person should do what they can to boost circulation, such as avoiding sitting or lying down for hours. Also, compression stockings worn appropriately can help push blood out from the legs to the rest of the body. However, it’s all too common for the elderly to be sedentary and struggle to put the special stockings on.
If seniors have a difficult time with any of these preventative or treatment steps, they can get help and encouragement from senior care aides and family members. Having someone around to remind them to take their medicine and to regularly stretch and exercise can make all the difference in a happier, healthier life or one that is plagued by the pain and danger of deep vein thrombosis.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in East Windsor, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information