Varicose Vein Tips For Seniors

Varicose veins are a relatively common condition, and for many people they are a family trait.

Summer in full swing can mean lots more outdoor activities for seniors: Walking, playing with grandchildren, gardening, golfing and more.

But older adults are not always aware of and ready for challenges hot weather can pose. The fact is, for seniors there are more hazards than just those on the golf course, say Indiana-area health experts.

Meeting those challenges successfully depends in part on starting and keeping an exercise routine, says Kim Terpstra, group exercise supervisor at Fitness Pointe in St. John, who leads the Community Hospital’s Functional Living Exercise for Everyone program.

If jogging seems daunting, “brisk walking gives you almost the same health benefit as jogging,” says Dr. Vivek Mishra, a vein specialist at Vein and Laser Institute in Munster, Merrillville, Valparaiso, and at Porter Regional Hospital. Mishra says seniors should be mindful of their legs’ condition, including swelling from varicose veins as a backup of blood and fluid in the legs occurs, sometimes an indication of congestive heart failure.

At first those varicose veins are a cosmetic issue, “But if you can see them, long term they can cause skin thickening, pigmentation around the ankles, and leg ulcers,” which need to be treated. A vein specialist can assess the condition and make recommendations, including wearing compression stockings that increase blood flow and keeping feet elevated when seated.

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and enlarged veins that you can see under the skin.

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