should not be taken for granted in the elderly. Especially if
they themselves complain about it. It isn't normal for them.
Sometimes they will describe “spells” of weakness. This is an
important clue. Check the pulse immediately. Count for 30 beats
at least. Are there missing beats? There should not be! Missing
two beats in a row certainly can produce a weak or “sinking”
spell. The brain and body need every pulse of blood sent out
right on time.
Check into caffeine use first. Take it all away. Caffeine
speeds up the heart; then the overworked heart has to “take time
out” for itself by missing a beat. Don't switch to decafs because
this introduces solvents and new problems. If no other natural
beverages appeal, serve hot water with cream and cinnamon.
After stopping caffeine use ask: Is the pulse too slow or too fast?
The pulse should be between 60 and 80 beats per minute.
If it is lower than 60, a medicine may be at fault. Ask the
clinical doctor about it immediately. A slow pulse could certainly
bring about weakness. A young athlete may have a slow
pulse legitimately, due to having a very strong efficient heart, but
your elderly person does not fit this category. The cause must be
If the pulse is quite high, over 100 perhaps, this will wear the
heart out much sooner than necessary. Ask why it is beating so
fast? A probable answer is that it is so weak that it has to beat
faster to keep up with its job of circulating the blood. What is
making the heart so weak?