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Should Aging Adults Use Daily Aspirin Therapy to Avoid Heart Attacks & Strokes?

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Aspirin is thought to play an important role in the prevention of heart attack and stroke. In fact, many physicians recommend seniors take a daily low-dose aspirin to reduce their risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. A physician will determine whether your aging loved one should take a daily aspirin based on his or her general state of health and current medications. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether seniors should take an aspirin a day.

Effect on Platelets

Aspirin is thought to decrease platelet aggregation, which means it decreases the stickiness of platelets so they’re less likely to form a blood clot. This response greatly reduces the risk for heart attack and stroke. However, it may raise the risk for abnormal bleeding in the urinary tract, gastrointestinal system, oral cavity, and even the brain. If your loved one has a blood clotting disorder or takes a prescription anticoagulant such as warfarin, a daily aspirin may be contraindicated. 

A healthy diet and exercise are also critical for seniors who want to lower their risk of heart attack and stroke. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Henderson, NV, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Optimal Endothelial Function

When endothelial function of the blood vessels isn’t optimal, inflammation inside the vessels may develop. Arterial inflammation is thought to be a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, but aspirin may promote optimal endothelial function so blood vessel inflammation is kept to a minimum, which enhances circulation and blood flow so blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks are less likely to develop.

Effects on Blood Pressure

If your loved one has high blood pressure, he or she may be a candidate for daily aspirin therapy. If taken at night, aspirin is thought to lower blood pressure so the risk for nocturnal and early morning cardiac or cerebral events is lowered. While taking nighttime aspirin is thought to lower blood pressure, it’s unknown if the same effect is elicited when aspirin is taken during the day. It’s important to note that if your loved one has renal failure, taking a daily aspirin could worsen kidney function, which may raise blood pressure instead of lowering it, even if taken at night. 

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Henderson seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Digestive Status

Seniors who have digestive disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may not be candidates for aspirin therapy. Aspirin can cause digestive issues such as stomach pain, heartburn, and exacerbation of GERD symptoms. Also, if your loved one has peptic ulcer disease or bleeding ulcers, he or she may be at a heightened risk for gastrointestinal bleeding. Once the ulcers are healed, the physician may allow your loved one to resume aspirin therapy, especially if he or she is at high risk for heart attack or stroke. If your loved one experiences an upset stomach after taking aspirin, an over-the-counter antacid or acid-blocking medication may relieve the pain so aspirin is better tolerated.

Aspirin may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes for seniors, but aging adults should still follow healthy lifestyle habits to minimize the risk even further. In Henderson, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (702) 527-7723.