Symptoms of Heart Failure in Older Adults

Symptoms of Heart Failure in Older Adults

Heart failure can occur in acute or chronic form. The main symptoms of the disease include:

  • Slowing of the general blood flow;
  • Increased pressure in the chambers of the heart;
  • The decrease in blood volume, i.e., “pumping” of the heart;
  • An accumulation of blood, which the heart cannot cope with, in the abdomen and in the veins of the legs.
  • Due to the fact that heart failure has blurred symptoms, its treatment in the elderly is significantly complicated.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue;
  • Weakness;
  • Insomnia;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Decreased mental capacity;
  • Irritability;
  • Depression.

As for the chronic form of the disease, its classic symptoms are leg swelling & breathing problems. In older people, they appear much later than in other patients. Therefore, at the time of going to a doctor, the heart of an elderly person is usually in a very poor condition. The symptoms of heart failure in old age are in many cases not specific and “masked” as signs of other diseases. Right-sided failure occurs if the outflow of blood from the right ventricle and the right atrium is difficult for one reason or another (for example, due to a malfunction of the valve). The result is increased pressure and accumulation of fluid in the vessels, which originate in the right chambers of the heart (veins of the legs and liver). Because of this, there is an increase in the volume of the liver and swelling of the legs.

In left-sided heart failure in older people, there is an increased mucus secretion (possibly with blood) and general weakness. It is the upper chamber of the heart (left atrium) that takes blood, saturated with oxygen, from the lungs and pumps it into the lower chamber (left ventricle), from where it spreads to all organs and systems. If the functioning of the left side is impaired, the blood enters back in pulmonary vessels, and the additional fluid goes through the smallest blood vessels thus provoking breathing problems.

The condition of congestive heart failure in old age is characterized by the fact that the kidneys do not cope with large volumes of fluid, and the salt, which they normally bring along with water, remains in the body, causing puffiness. In this case, doctors diagnose renal failure, which can be cured by eliminating the root cause. About Medigap Coverage: Also renowned as Medicare supplement plans at, older adults can utilize them as an add-on for covering costs for instance copay, coinsurance, etc.