February is American Heart Month. What do you know about your dad’s overall health? Heart health is specifically important. Heart disease is the main concern for senior citizens. When your dad next goes for a medical checkup, there are five questions you need to ask.
Are There Warning Signs I Should Be Watching For?
You should find out what warning signs are indicators of heart disease. If your dad’s ankles swell on a hot humid day, is that a concern? What if his ankles swell after he’s on a walk? You need to know when swelling is concerning and when it’s not. Ask your dad’s doctor about other potential signs like lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Do You Recommend Any Screenings or Tests?
Ask your dad’s doctor if any screenings or tests are necessary. Blood pressure and blood tests to check cholesterol and sugar levels are often performed. If there are concerns, your dad may benefit from a stress test. Be sure to ask.
What Medications is He Taking and Are There Side Effects?
Your dad’s doctor found his cholesterol levels to be high. He’s worried about your dad’s blood pressure. Maybe, something else concerned him. Find out if his doctor recommends medications. If he does, discuss the common side effects and the more concerning ones.
Ask if there are over-the-counter medications or foods that should not be used or eaten with these medications. Will the medications make him lightheaded and impact the ability to drive? Find out before you leave the office.
Are There Things He Could Do Differently?
Find out what your dad can do to improve his cardiac health. Should he change his diet? How much activity does his doctor recommend? What exercises are best for your dad? If your dad drinks a beer every now and then, see if that’s recommended.
How Long Before He Should Return for Another Checkup?
Talk to your dad’s doctor about follow-up appointments. Is your dad okay to go a full year before his next checkup? Should he return in six months for a follow-up? Should he be referred to cardiologist or dietitian?
If your dad’s heart is showing signs of disease, he may need help at home. Some of the home care services that help with cardiovascular disease are meal preparation, medication reminders, and transportation. Learn more about prices and services by calling a home care agency.
Are you or a loved one considering Senior Care in Jacksonville, AR? First Choice Senior Care can help. Serving all of Little Rock and Central Arkansas.
Please call and talk to our caring staff today. (501) 916-9307
Kayla believes in advocating for and educating seniors and their families on a variety of topics and issues that impact them.Reflecting on the need for an independent home care provider interested in quality over quantity, she chased her dream of building her own company that would make a significant difference in the lives of seniors, providing a much-needed service in her own local community.
Kayla holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas State University, is licensed by the state of Arkansas as a Long-Term Care Administrator, and is a Certified Senior Adviser.
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