6 Hidden Signs of Heart Attacks in Aging Adults

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Every year, more than 730,000 adults experience heart attacks. Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of health-related fatalities. Most people associate having a heart attack with severe chest pain that’s often described as a tightening or heaviness. However, up to 25 percent of myocardial infarctions begin with silent symptoms. Family members should take notice of the following unusual symptoms. 

1. Generalized Fatigue

Unusual fatigue occurs due to diminished blood flow to the heart, which puts added stress on the muscular structure. The heart then works harder in a weakened state, leading to exhaustion. The fatigue and weakness are so severe that seniors aren’t able to accomplish daily activities. While the symptom may occur in men and women, fatigue is more often reported by women. Seniors experiencing this symptom should seek medical care. 

Keeping your loved one’s heart healthy is key to his or her overall wellbeing. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

2. Sore Back, Chest, or Arms

Unusual soreness in the upper body region that isn’t associated with previous physical activity may be a heart attack symptom. Seniors experiencing discomfort in any of these areas should seek medical attention. Nerves in the upper body respond by sending pain signals. Although the issue exists in the chest cavity around the heart, the brain sometimes perceives the alert inappropriately, which leads to pain in the upper body area. 

3. Jaw, Neck, or Throat Discomfort

Following a heart attack, some seniors have chest pain that extends down an arm or up toward the jawline. However, tightening or pain in these areas without being accompanied by chest pain may also be a symptom of a silent heart attack. Some older adults have also reported feeling like their throats were closing or tightening, resulting in a choking sensation. The symptom may or may not occur during physical activity. 

Difficulty Breathing

4. Experiencing shortness of breath while walking, going up stairs, or engaging in any other physical activity may be a sign of danger. If the symptom doesn’t usually occur during the activity, the senior may be experiencing a heart attack. Sometimes seniors notice the symptom when first waking up in the morning or after a nap. 

Taking care of your loved one means you need to be alert. However, you cannot provide care around the clock without assistance. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Edmonton families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.

5. Nausea

Blood flow interference in the abdominal region secondary to a heart attack may also cause nausea, vomiting, and profuse sweating. Seniors who experience the symptom for no apparent dietary reason must seek medical help. Nausea is sometimes the only symptom women experience while having a heart attack. 

6. Upper Abdominal Pain

Another silent symptom involves experiencing an unusual heaviness or persistent dull pain in the upper epigastric or abdominal region. Upper abdominal pain may or may not accompany chest pain. Along with experiencing upper epigastric discomfort, some seniors might frequently burp, which leads them to believe the issue is simple indigestion or heartburn. When antacids don’t alleviate the sensation, seniors should go to a medical facility for evaluation. 

It’s important to be aware of the lesser-known symptoms of a heart attack to help your loved one remain safe. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Edmonton, AB, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your senior loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337.

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