February 2023 is the UK’s heart month, intended to raise awareness of the effects of heart conditions on people’s lives. Heart disease is sadly very common. Anyone reading this blog post will likely know at least one person living with heart issues.
As one of the UK’s big causes of long-term illness and disability, heart problems are hugely relevant to what we do here at Lifestyle & Mobility. This piece will examine the mobility problems caused by heart disease. Besides the best-known mobility issues resulting from heart disease, it will also try to highlight more obscure issues, many of which are encountered by us at Lifestyle & Mobility.
Because strokes are a primary cause of both large and small-scale paralysis, many of our customers come to us needing mobility solutions because of stroke injuries. These solutions might be anything from a walking stick for occasional use, to a powerchair for full-time use.
As all too many people sadly know, strokes don’t just affect gross motor function (the term covering physical activities such as walking, standing up from a sitting position, lifting, and much more) Smaller, more precise motions are very often impaired in stroke sufferers. This is where the condition-management conversation turns from mobility aids towards living aids. One area where fine motor skill damage due to stroke always needs to be compensated for is eating and drinking. This is reflected in the comprehensive solutions available to help stroke sufferers regain control of this part of life. The assistive cutlery pictured here is one such solution.
Whilst strokes are probably most associated with long-term mobility issues, there are other heart-related health concerns which can cause mobility problems. For example, heart failure can limit mobility.
One symptom of heart failure is oedema, which is the technical name for ankle and foot swelling caused by a build-up of fluid. Whilst heart failure and the symptoms associated with it cannot usually be cured, this is a manageable condition. One of the most used Lifestyle & Mobility products when it comes to managing oedema are compression socks.
This humble piece of equipment has a deceptively big impact on the freedom and wellbeing of users. For one, they make long-haul flights far safer for oedema sufferers, helping keep the world open to them. It’s not hard to see why they are so popular with frequent holidaymakers.
Congenital Heart Disease
It is well-known that most types of heart disease are driven by risk factors over which people have a certain amount of control: diet, exercise etc.
Congenital heart disease is a catch-all label for the range of birth defects which affect the normal way that the heart works. These are forms of heart disease which no sufferer could have done anything to reduce their risk of.
Whilst the causes of congenital heart disease are very different to those of other variants, the effects are often similar. This means that, once more, mobility issues may be experienced. Some effects of congenital heart disease are rather different to those of other types of heart disease. Because congenital heart disease carries through the whole lifespan, it can affect crucial parts of childhood development. If someone’s heart isn’t functioning at a normal level, this affects the supply of oxygen to the brain. A lowered supply of oxygen to a developing brain has various effects, which can include memory problems in later life. Particularly considering that chronic heart conditions are often managed by an extensive medication regime, memory issues present a worrying obstacle. It is with precisely such health concerns in mind that medication organisers like the one shown here have entered the living aid market.
Hopefully this post has shed a little light on some of the more obscure effects of heart disease which we encounter in our work at Lifestyle & Mobility.
Thank you for reading.