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Age-Related Changes that Occur in the Cardiovascular System Essay

The title page introducing what subject I am planning on presenting to the residents of the independent living facility. It tells them who I am and what subject is being presented. The residents that I am going to be addressing are healthy, active and mentally alert senior who want to learn more about health conditions that are affecting their age group in general and are of major concern. Slide 2 Homeostasis is the equilibrium of the body.

Homeostasis is maintained by the balance of our vital signs to keep us on an even keel. The definition of Homeostasis is, “Homeostasis is the compensation of the vital signs to regulate the hearts blood flow and maintain balance within the body” (Jenkins, Kemnitz, & Tortora 2010). The autonomic system and its branches keep the body moving and functioning. Like these teeter-totters the parasympathetic and the sympathetic move oppose of each other, but keep a slow steady rhythm and together they work as a whole.

Slide 3 The fight or flight dilemma. The fight stance is pretty self-explanatory; these are noticeable effects like pupils dilated, neck and shoulders stiffen up or tense, chest pain or palpations, mouth can get very dry or cotton mouth, these are just some of the examples of signs and symptoms that an individual can experience. The flight stance is more hidden and not necessarily identified by the patient or doctor until the more noticeable symptoms are visible.

Some of the hidden symptoms can be, but not limited to blood pressure can get higher to a dangerous level, more adrenalin is released into the individuals system, liver produces more glucose to give energy to the muscles, and the digestion system will slow or stop completely. Slide 4 Some of the side effects from medication or treatments can be uncomfortable and more severe than the symptoms of the condition that is being treated. Looking on the brighter side is that once the medication or treatments are manageable the medication is controlling the condition, than life can get back to normal except for some life style changes.

Diet and exercise can be the most drastic changes, and the hardest to comply with. If an individual has never exercised much and has lived on fast food, eating healthy and increasing activity besides sitting in front of the television can be the most challenging. Slide 5 A hypertensive heart has thickened ventricular walls which make the heart work harder to pump the blood throughout the body. When the walls thicken, the elasticity is decreases and the heart and other systems need to work harder to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body.

Any condition that affects the oxygenated blood from flowing through the heart can cause the ventricular walls to thicken. As we age our blood pressure increases, age, ethninticity, weight, and genetics can play a role in a hypertensive heart condition. Slide 6 Hypertension is sometimes call, “The Silent Killer” (www. medicinenet. com 2013). Hypertension usually does not have any symptoms and puts a lot of stress on other major organs which over time will start to deteriorate.

Some side- affects that can impact quality of life are sexual dysfunction, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and neurological problems. Sexual dysfunction is usually more noticeable and bothersome to men. Heart disease can lead to other heart related problems, like heart attack (MCI), stroke (CVA), and congestive heart failure (CHF). Slide 7 After the diagnosis of hypertension, the physician and individual will work on a plan to manage the hypertension. Most of the time this includes medication, low fat, low sodium diet and exercise.

This will include some changes in your family’s life to. Our society functions on fast food, and not enough education on the right foods to eat. Exercise can be as little as walking around the block or as much as working out at the gym several times a week. Blood pressure needs to be taken every time there is a doctor’s appointment and sometimes it should be Slide 8 Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is caused from a waxy substance building up in the coronary arteries called plaque. Blood is slowed because of the plaque blocking the arteries and slowing the blood flow.

Sometimes the plaque can disengage and cause a blood clot that if not detected and treated can cause a stroke or heart attack. The lack of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and major arteries over time will cause organ to deteriorate and healthy tissue and muscles will start to die. Acting quickly is the key in recovering from a heart attack or not surviving. Some symptoms can include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Men generally have classic signs of a heart attack; women can have other symptoms that are not classic symptoms, like lower back pain, and even neck pain.

Slide 9 Heart attacks can be caused from medication (legal and illegal), stress, diet, generational, exposure to extreme cold weather, and cigarette smoking. Drugs and alcohol when taken in large quantities can be damaging to body when not prescribed for a treated condition. Narcotics, over-the-counter, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, alcohol, even medication for certain conditions if taken differently than prescribed can do harm to the heart and body. Slide 10 Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is the leading cause for hospitalization in individuals over the age of 65 years old.

The heart needs to work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood through the body. The myocardium’s thickened walls make the heart work harder to pump blood. The heart may pump more freely to hold more blood or stiffen and harden as time goes on. Slide 11 Some of the symptoms of congestive heart failure is kidneys start retaining water and salt, edema in the legs, ankles, arms and feet. The lungs can start retaining fluid to. More weight from the excess of fluid puts stress on the heart, shortness of breath and more exertion on activity. Slide 12 Myocardial Infarction (MCI) is the medical term for heart attack.

Some of the symptoms can include seizures, dizziness, fainting, fainting, chest pain or discomfort and extreme fatigue. The person may experience the heart racing really fast, like if they ran a marathon, but were sitting down and relaxing. If the individual has unexplained family deaths at an early age can put them in a higher-risk category. Slide 13 This slide is a picture depicting what might happen in a heart attack. A blood clot can dislodge and move through the blood stream until it blocks oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart or major organ, or it completely blocks the pathway of blood flow.

If not treated immediately, it can lead to tissue and muscles becoming damaged or dying all completely and then death. References Jenkins, Kemintz, Tortora (2010) Anatomy and Physiology. John Wiley and Sonc Inc. Kulik. (2013, April). www. medicinenet. com. Retrieved from Myocardial Infarction: www. medicinenet. com Ladwig, A. a. (2014). Nursing Diagnosis Handbook. Mosby by Elsevier Inc. National Stroke Association. (2012). After Stroke. Effects of Strokes, www. stroke. org. Potter, P. S. (2012). Fundamentals of Nursing. St. Louis: Mosby an imprint by Elsevier Inc .


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