Medical Alerts for Seniors with Heart Disease

Introduction

Approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease every year. That accounts for one in four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Heart Disease Overview

Heart disease is also sometimes known as coronary heart disease. It is a disorder of the blood vessels located in the heart.Heart disease affects both men and women. Left untreated, heart disease often leads to a myocardial infarction, typically called a heart attack. A myocardial infarction is caused by one of the heart’s arteries becoming clogged, which prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the heart.

Every year, 785,000 Americans will suffer from a heart attack, according to the American College of Cardiology. An additional 470,000 will suffer from their second or third heart attack. Once diagnosed, heart disease is a lifelong condition that can be maintained surgically, and with medication, dietary changes, and exercise

Heart Disease Impairment

Every aspect of a person’s life is affected by heart disease. The heart is a vital organ, and when it functions poorly, the whole body feels the effects. Even if a person undergoes bypass surgery or some other form of intervention to improve oxygen and blood flow, the heart’s arteries will remain damaged.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of disability. Sufferers battle daily with physical impairments.

Some sufferers have all of the impairments listed below, and some only a few, depending on the condition of the heart and any damage that the heart may have suffered.

  • Angina
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Tiring during physical activity.
  • Fatigue
Medical Alert Benefits

Heart disease is a ticking time bomb. A heart attack often occurs suddenly and without warning. A medical alert can be a lifesaver because if a senior starts to experience chest pain or shortness of breath but is unable to reach a phone, they can summon help immediately. During a heart attack, symptoms can be sudden or last for as long as 30 minutes. Early care during a heart attack is literally a matter of life and death. Delays in reaching medical care can prove fatal when a person is experiencing a heart attack.

Symptoms of a heart attack vary among sufferers:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blue lips
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the arms, shoulder, chest, back, neck or jaw
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Many heart disease sufferers opt to live their lives without medical alerts. However, heart disease can be deadly, so sufferers should take certain precautions in their lives to remain as safe as possible.

  • Chest pain: Chest pain is often a symptom of a heart attack. During a heart attack, fast response is critical. The sufferer should make sure that a phone is readily available in each room. They should also always carry their cell phone with them, so they have easy access to call for emergency assistance when pain strikes.
  • Dizziness and weakness: Heart disease patients often experience bouts of weakness or dizziness. Having safety handrails installed in the home is beneficial. A shower bar, stand-assist for getting out of bed, and a safety toilet frame all offer support when feeling weak. A walker or cane can also assist.
  • Angina: Angina can hit suddenly. Often it is simple angina, or the pain could be the start of a full-blown heart attack. Keeping your angina medication with you at all times is very important. Many physicians also recommend carrying aspirin, which can be taken if a heart attack should occur. On top of carrying the medication on your person, you should also keep bottles within reach in the rooms of your home that you occupy the most.
Heart Disease Precautions
  1. Avoid cold weather: The sudden shock of cold weather can bring on a bout of painful angina. The frigid air causes an increase in blood pressure, a faster heart rate, and an increased risk of blood clotting. Your heart works much harder in cold weather.
  2. Do not exert yourself: Shoveling, raking, heavy lifting and sweeping all exert the heart.
  3. Avoid overheating: Keeping the thermostat set too high or dressing too warmly can cause overheating. This makes the vessels in the body dilate, which can cause low blood pressure.
  4. Get a flu shot: Anyone suffering from heart disease should get a flu shot, because the consequences of contracting influenza may prove deadly.
Heart Disease Medical Alerts Conclusion

Living with heart disease is not easy. It can be stressful because the sufferer never knows when a heart attack may strike. Many times, a heart attack can occur suddenly with little or no warning. The sufferer may be unable to reach a phone to call for help. Medical alerts take the worry out of the situation and provide valuable peace of mind. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 47 percent of all heart attacks happen outside of a hospital. In such situations, early medical treatment can be the difference between life and death.

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