Seniors are the most critical group of people as their health risks are much higher compared to other age groups. Senior citizens (≥60 years) represent 62% of the total number of sudden cardiac arrests in America, making them the most impacted group by this condition. As such, it is important for them to learn how to perform CPR properly for the sake of their peers.
Despite this, citizens over the age of 60 are a lot less likely to be CPR-certified in comparison to citizens 49 and under. Unfortunately, the risk of SCA increases with age, which is why CPR is vital to learn, especially in regards to older people. CPR boosts the chances of survival to 18% when administered to older adults.
Health Concerns for Seniors
Senior citizens are the most affected group by many health conditions that lead to SCA. Poorly performed CPR could lead to bigger problems, especially for persons with chronic illnesses and diseases. That’s why it is essential to know their health risks and concerns. Here are the biggest health issues for senior citizens:
According to the National Institute of Aging, the risk of SCA increases with age. People over 65 are more likely to develop heart diseases such as coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest, and heart failure.
All of this happens due to the changes in the heart as you age. Your heart muscles weaken, which means the heart valves that keep your bloodstream functioning properly; the arteries tighten, and the heart walls increase, leading to a higher chance of heart problems.
Elders are more likely to have chronic diseases such as heart and blood vessel issues, respiratory complications, diabetes, osteoporosis, and more. These factors are the primary contributors to mortality, disability, and healthcare expenditure in the US.
The risk of having a cardiovascular disease also grows with age. Older people can develop different types of cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and clogged arteries. These heart-related diseases raise the probability of stroke or heart failure with age.
Other age-related diseases that might lower the immune system and impact senior citizens’ health are respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, the flu, or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder). These diseases are common among chronic smokers or anyone exposed to second-hand smoke.
Another factor that has a significant impact on your health is obesity. Having excessive fat is known as being overweight or obese. People of all ages with a BMI over 30 are considered obese. However, intervention is recommended for a BMI of 25 and above.
Obesity leads to many other chronic diseases that pose a great risk to your health. Therefore, it is vital to prevent it and lower the chances of many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart problems, that go hand-in-hand with obesity.
As you get older, the calcium in your bones starts depleting, which leads to weak and brittle bones. Osteoporosis and other diseases that impact joints and bones quite commonly develop in people over the age of 65.
Because of bad bone health, falls have a more significant impact and are more detrimental to senior citizens’ health. Falls can happen because of vision impairment or medication, leading to severe injuries.
Another health concern for the elderly is vision impairment. Vision loss can lead to accidents and injuries that cause further complications and an additional health risk.
Lastly, end-of-life care is designed for people with untreatable illnesses or people nearing the end of their life. It enables them to live with the highest possible comfort and quality of life in their remaining days.
How To Improve Heart Health
Heart health in senior citizens can be improved in many ways. A heart-healthy diet, supplements and a few health check-ups, will improve your health and immune system. Maintaining health can be done by staying hydrated and keeping track of your cholesterol levels to ensure a long and healthy life and minimize the risk of heart-related diseases.
CPR Education Programs
Despite care and good health, older adults have a much higher chance of having an SCA. So, it is vital to have CPR knowledge in case of an emergency. Various CPR programs can be found in West Palm Beach, Florida and there are 4 types of CPR certification you can obtain:
- Level A. The most basic form of CPR certification teaches CPR procedures for adults only. Level A courses include choking techniques, AED usage, and early defibrillation.
- Level B. This course covers CPR for infants, children, and adults. B-level CPR courses are most suited for grandparents, parents, and people working in childcare. It teaches choking procedures, AED usage, and early defibrillation for all three age groups.
- Level C. This level of CPR classes is the most extensive, providing knowledge for all of the CPR methods and more. It teaches AED usage, airflow obstruction techniques, First Aid, and two-rescuer CPR procedures. Level C CPR is useful for people who need to be prepared for an emergency at their workplace and need a CPR certification for their job.
- Level HCP. This is the complete course on CPR required for a healthcare provider (HCP) to do their job without any legal issues. It includes advanced training with medical equipment and all the life-saving techniques required for medical staff.
Ripple Effect of CPR
People of all ages need to know CPR, but older adults should be more CPR-educated as the most impacted population group. However, a study on the disparities in CPR training uncovers a notable correlation between older age and a lack of CPR skills. If senior citizens know how to perform CPR, they might be able to save the people closest to them, such as their friends and family.
Raising awareness about CPR among seniors could help boost morale and may even improve their SCA survival rates. An individual action might not seem like much, but it only takes one person to create a ripple effect and impact the community as a whole.
Support Seniors in CPR Initiatives
It is crucial to support and advise seniors to attend CPR classes. Of course, seniors will not be motivated to follow a 5-hour course on CPR training techniques. So, raining providers should adjust the classes to suit their needs as well.
The chance of OHCA survival in seniors is much lower than that of the other target groups, so most seniors are not motivated to learn or attend CPR courses. Older adults should be supported and encouraged to learn CPR. If the survival rate percentages are as low as 6.7%, learning CPR can only make them higher.
Planning the CPR courses for senior citizens in a flexible way might enhance their willingness to attend more frequently. Another factor impacting their readiness to follow CPR courses is their peers.
Seniors have better outreach when it comes to people of their age group, so informing other older adults will help encourage them to take action. Peers promoting CPR can show that it is more manageable and effortless than people might think. Anyone can do it with proper training, and when it comes to your loved ones, doing nothing is not an option.
Activities are much more fun when you have the company of your peers. So, a senior citizen as a promoter increases the trust and helps overcome social stigmas and barriers concerning CPR procedures.
Heartwarming Success Stories
Despite the known fact that about 6% of elders survive OHCA, there are plenty of successful OHCA stories of people saving their loved ones out there.
A good example for attending a CPR course because of a peer who promoted AED placement and CPR training is the story of David and Ann. David, a senior citizen from the UK, was resuscitated after he collapsed due to cardiac arrest. His wife, Ann, performed a successful 25-minute CPR, which saved his life.
Senior Citizens Leading CPR in West Palm Beach: Final Thoughts
Knowing CPR techniques is a significant skill favorable for people of all ages. Most cardiac arrests happen out-of-hospital, so knowing CPR is an enormous advantage to saving someone’s life.
In order to savor the golden moments of your life, learn CPR and be qualified to help in an emergency. Explore the possibilities for senior citizens’ CPR training providers in West Palm Beach to choose from to pick out a credible CPR education center and save a life!