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Shoveling and Heart Failure: Why the Elderly have to take Extra Caution

Winter is a beautiful season that brings joy and fosters community, especially for those who love snow. However, for the elderly, this idyllic season can pose serious health risks. One of the most strenuous tasks during winter is shoveling snow, which may seem harmless, but it can have severe repercussions. It is crucial that we encourage our elderly population to sign up for snow shoveling removal services to prevent heart failure and ensure their health and safety. 

The Dangers of Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow may appear to be a mundane task, but it can be incredibly strenuous, especially for older adults. The combination of frigid temperatures, heavy exertion, and the strain on the cardiovascular system can lead to heart failure. According to The American Heart Association, it is a well-established fact that heart attacks are more likely to occur during snow shoveling activities, making this a dire concern for the elderly population. Consider this excerpt from their website which features cardiovascular scholars: 

“Shoveling a little snow off your sidewalk may not seem like hard work. However, the strain of heavy snow shoveling may be as or even more demanding on the heart than taking a treadmill stress test, according to research we’ve conducted.” said Franklin, a professor of internal medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Royal Oak, Michigan. “For example, after only two minutes of snow shoveling, study participants’ heart rates exceeded 85% of maximal heart rate, which is a level more commonly expected during intense aerobic exercise testing. The impact is hardest on those people who are least fit.” 

A study from the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ): Association between quantity and duration of snowfall and risk of myocardial infarction, relayed that 

The chance of heart attack after a snowfall increased among men but not among women. The study found that, compared to no snowfall, a heavy snow – about 7-8 inches – was associated with 16% higher odds of men being admitted to the hospital with a heart attack, and a 34% increase in the chance of men dying from a heart attack.

Physiological Vulnerabilities of the Elderly

As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to vulnerabilities in the cold and pose a physical strain. The elderly often have pre-existing health conditions including, but not limited to: heart disease, hypertension, etc., which further increases their risk of heart failure while shoveling snow. According to CMS, 86% of elderly have pre-existing conditions. Moreover, their reduced strength, flexibility, and diminished cardiovascular capacity makes them more susceptible to the adverse effects of this demanding activity.

Snow Shoveling Services: A Lifeline for the Elderly

Snow shoveling removal services can be a lifeline for the elderly, ensuring their safety and well-being during the winter months. By signing up for Snow Scholars, older adults can avoid the strenuous task of shoveling snow themselves, thereby significantly reducing the risk of heart failure. Snow Scholars provides efficient and reliable snow removal options, allowing seniors to enjoy a worry-free winter season.

Image of an elderly couple shoveling snow in the cold. Image retrieved from: Nataliya Vaitkevitch 

Working towards Peace of Mind

Encouraging the elderly to utilize snow shoveling removal services promotes their independence, while providing peace of mind for their loved ones. By taking advantage of Snow Scholars, older adults can focus on other important aspects of their lives, such as maintaining their health, pursuing hobbies, and spending quality time with family and friends. This not only enhances their quality of life, but also ensures that they remain active and engaged members of our community.

Economic and Social Benefits

Beyond the individual benefits, taking advantage of snow shoveling services also has more generally economic and social advantages. By preventing heart failures and related health complications, the elderly will have to go to fewer doctors visits, which makes room for more specialized care for folks experiencing other issues and it also saves the elderly money by avoiding long-term expensive treatment. Additionally, when the elderly are not occupied with snow removal, they can contribute more actively to society, volunteering, participating in community events, and imparting their wisdom on younger generations. 

In conclusion, the risks associated with snow shoveling for the elderly are inevitable. Heart failure resulting from the strenuous activity can be prevented by encouraging our older population to sign up for Snow Scholars removal services. By doing so, we ensure their safety, promote their independence, and allow them time to contribute to their community. It is vital that we prioritize the well-being of our elderly population during the winter months and take proactive measures to protect them from the dangers of snow shoveling alone. 

~ Nina Petrosino, Snow Scholars Writer

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