Seniors have a very high risk of developing varicose veins, mostly because they are not as active as they once were and often experience sluggish circulation due to age. Family caregivers that don’t know much about varicose veins may not think they are worth getting some medical attention for. However, it is a mistake to let an elderly adult’s varicose veins go untreated.
Here are some frequently asked questions about varicose veins and the elderly that family caregivers should review:
Q: What are varicose veins exactly?
A: Varicose veins are usually found in a person’s legs, but any vein can be affected. The veins become widened and start to twist. When the walls of the vein widen, the valves that push the blood back to the heart don’t work as well. Without treatment, varicose veins can lead to numerous health problems.
Q: What causes varicose veins?
A: There are several factors that can contribute to varicose veins. Genetics plays a bi role in who is likely to develop them. Long periods of sitting or standing can contribute, as can sitting with crossed legs frequently. Other causes include past pregnancies, being overweight and a poor diet.
Q: Are varicose veins more common in elderly adults?
A: Because inactivity is a major contributor to varicose veins, seniors are at a much higher risk of developing them. If the senior is in a wheelchair or bedridden, they are especially susceptible.
Q: What do varicose veins look like?
A: Varicose veins will appear as bumpy or lumpy under the skin. The area is usually discolored purple or dark blue, with reddish thin veins encircling the varicose veins. Moreover, the area may be swollen or reddish as well due to the increased fluids in the area. Family caregivers and senior care assistants should check for varicose veins on the elderly adult regularly.
Q: Do varicose veins cause pain?
A: In mild cases, varicose veins may be itchy or inflamed, causing discomfort in the aging adult. In moderate to severe cases, they usually feel fain or a pins and needles feeling. Many seniors report feeling stiffness in the area as well. In extreme cases, seniors struggle with pain from the varicose veins.
Q: How are varicose veins treated?
A: There isn’t any medicine that can help treat varicose veins, but doctors recommend a number of do-it-yourself techniques. These include wearing compression socks, moving around regularly, elevating the feet when sitting and exercise. Losing weight can also help relieve the pressure on the veins. In serious cases, surgery is often used to take care of varicose veins in seniors.
Q: What happens if seniors don’t get treatment for varicose veins?
A: Elderly adults can experience serious health issues if they don’t take care of their varicose veins. Health problems related to varicose veins include deep vein thrombosis, skin ulcers, blood clots and pulmonary embolus.
When it comes to varicose veins, there are many things that family members and senior care aides can do to help elderly adults avoid poor health. Just a few minutes of activity every few hours can make a big difference in whether or not varicose veins develop or worsen.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Helena, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...