Checking your vital signs helps your health care provider monitor your health and any medical problems you may have.
Aging decreases your ability to sweat. You may have difficulty telling when you are becoming overheated. This puts you at high risk of overheating (
During an infection, the body of an older person may not be able to produce a higher temperature. For this reason, it is important to check other vital signs as well as any symptoms and signs of infection.
Heart Rate and Breathing Rate
As you grow older, your pulse rate is about the same as before. But when exercising, it may take longer for your pulse to increase and longer to slow down afterward. Your highest heart rate with exercise is also lower than before.
Breathing rate usually does not change with age. But
Older people may become
Risk of having high blood pressure (
slow pulse(bradycardia) or very fast pulse (tachycardia)
Heart rhythm problems (
arrhythmias) such as atrial fibrillation
Effects of Medicines on Vital Signs
Medicines that are used to treat health problems in older persons can affect the vital signs. For example, the medicine digitalis used for
Diuretics (water pills) can cause low blood pressure, especially when changing body position too quickly.
As You Grow Older, You Will Have Other Changes, Including:
In organs, tissues, and cells In the heart and blood vessels In the lungs