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How Can You Tell if Your Senior’s AFib Is Getting Worse?

Atrial fibrillation may be easy for your senior to get under control. If her AFib gets worse, though, some of her symptoms may get worse, too. Being as prepared as she can be for some of the symptoms she might experience can help your elderly family member to stay calm and keep a cool head about what’s happening. Here are some of the things she should be aware of as she continues to live with atrial fibrillation.

Her Heart Races When She’s Resting

One big sign that atrial fibrillation may be getting worse is that she’s feeling her heart race when she’s resting. Your senior’s doctor may want her to wear a Holter monitor for a time to see what her heart is doing over several hours, including when she’s resting. It might be as simple as adjusting her medication, or there may be other treatments that can help.

She’s Having More Trouble Breathing

If your elderly family member is experiencing shortness of breath it’s important to get to the root cause. Shortness of breath when she’s being extremely active might not be a big deal. But if she’s experiencing this while she’s sitting on the couch, that could be a sign of something else going on. Your elderly family member’s doctor might want to rule out other potential causes, but it can also be directly related to AFib.

She’s Getting More Edema in Her Lower Legs

Because atrial fibrillation affects how well your senior’s heart functions, edema can be a common side effect. Edema, or swelling in your senior’s extremities, can become quite severe. If this is a new symptom for her or if she finds that simple solutions, like elevating her feet, doesn’t help, this could be a sign that her heart issues are worsening.

She’s Feeling Extremely Tired

Fatigue is a common symptom with heart and lung issues. The body is already working so hard on basic functions that there’s not a lot of energy left over. If your senior is feeling a lot more tired than usual or the fatigue she’s experiencing is new for her since her diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, then her doctor needs to be aware of how she’s feeling.

One way that you can take some stress off your senior is to bring in senior care providers to help her with whatever needs to be done. This can help her to conserve her energy and rest when she needs to.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in San Ramon, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.

Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia: Know the Similarities and Differences

As your mom and dad age, you may notice their mood changes. They become agitated more easily. They’re forgetful. They have a harder time following instructions or doing things they’ve done hundreds of times before.

Anxiety, depression, and dementia can all share some symptoms, but they’re very different from one another. How can you tell them apart?

How Do Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia Differ, and How Are They Alike?

The differences between anxiety, depression, and dementia differ in several ways. Start with anxiety. Someone with anxiety may worry regularly. The level of worry may seem unusual and it often interferes with normal activities. Ignored, anxiety can on physical symptoms like a racing heart rate, difficulty breathing, hyperventilating, dizziness, numbness/tingling in the hands and feet, and chest pain.

Compare those common symptoms to depression. People with depression may also deal with anxiety, but it’s not always the case. Depression usually affects the appetite, creates feelings of guilt, makes it hard to think or concentrate, and causes mood swings and irritability. Depression interferes with sleep. It also makes you lose interest in things you used to love, such as favorite hobbies or going out with friends. Sometimes physical pain manifests as a symptom of depression.

Then, there’s dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Confusion is a symptom, but it doesn’t come all at once. There’s a gradual decline. Dementia doesn’t cause someone to feel guilty. Depression and anxiety may occur as dementia progresses, but it’s not always the case. Physical pain isn’t related to Alzheimer’s. It’s tied to something else like a UTI or stress and tense muscles.

What If You’re Not Sure?

It can be hard to know if your parent’s confusion is related to dementia or depression. When you see any signs that make you wary, call the family doctor. Ask questions and get answers. If you’re not convinced, you can ask for a second opinion.

If it is dementia, treatments can help slow the progression of the different symptoms. If it’s depression or anxiety, there are medications or therapeutic treatments that help reduce the severity and symptoms.

Whether your mom and dad are dealing with anxiety, depression, or dementia, support is essential. All three can impact the ability to take care of yourself properly. With senior care services, your parents have companionship and assistance. Call a senior care agency to discuss how caregivers can help when mental abilities decline or mental health is impacted.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in San Ramon, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.

Four of the Best Ways to Stay in Touch During Self-Quarantines

One question that came up during the COVID-19 emergency was how to keep in touch with parents during self-quarantines. You can’t ignore them, but you can’t leave your home either. If they don’t live with you when a virus of this nature hits, how do you keep in touch and make sure they’re okay? These four options are your best bets.

Video Calls

Services like Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and many others allow you to make video calls for free. Contact your parents over the computer. You’ll see and hear them and know if they need anything. It helps prevent loneliness, too.

These services are easy to use. You both load the app or software on your computer, make a call just as you would with a phone, and your mom and dad answer on their end. Chat as long and as often as you need.


The telephone is something your parents know how to use. It’s a no-fuss way to connect, though it does lack the benefit of physically seeing how they look. If video chats confuse them, the phone is your best option.

As there are scammers out there who use different tactics to fool callers, go over phone safety with your mom and dad. Teach them the common scams, how to avoid them, and what to do if they think a caller may have gotten information from them because the scam was that convincing.

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers like the Google Home can be set up to make quick and easy phone calls. Once set up, all your parents have to do is say “Call X” and the speaker makes the call for them. Some systems use a tablet and offer video chat that’s operated just as easily.

Hire Caregivers to Make Sure They’re Okay

You may not be able to leave the house to see your parents, but caregivers can. Arrange senior care services and have a caregiver stop by and see how your parents are doing. Caregivers can prepare meals for the week and leave instructions on how to reheat them. They can contact a doctor if your parents are sick and should be seen.

Schedule senior care for the days and hours that best fit your parents’ needs. It’s easy to make these arrangements over the phone. Call a local senior care agency to get started. Answer a few questions and your parents have the care they need even if you can’t get to them.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in San Ramon, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.