Aging adults can be afflicted by a wide variety of cardiovascular diseases including heart arrhythmia, infections, heart attacks and coronary heart disease (CHD). Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults over the age of 65. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2007, heart disease accounted for about 28.2 percent of deaths in this demographic.
The risk of developing heart disease increases as individuals get older. It is also affected by genetics and gender. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that a family history of heart problems could indicate that an individual's chance of developing heart disease is higher, and men are more likely than pre-menopausal women to develop heart problems.
Seniors with Heart Disease Have Increased Risk of Falls
The most common symptoms of heart disease include chest pains, shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue, according to the NIH. These symptoms may increase the risk of falling for older individuals. Chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease may also increase the risk of falls due to poor balance, muscle weakness, and reduced physical activity.
Individuals diagnosed with heart disease should consider taking steps to reduce the risk and consequences of falling. One way to provide protection is to setup personal emergency response systems in their homes. Should they become fatigued and fall, experience a heart attack or otherwise need medical assistance, they will be able to contact emergency services easily and immediately via a wearable medical alarm device, even if they are unable to reach a phone. These individuals should also take measures to reduce fall hazards and their home. Additionally, doctors may advise a special exercise program for older adults to increase balance and reduce the possibility of falls
Healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way to prevent or treat the majority of heart diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic . However, heart-related health problems can still occur, which is why it can be wise to consider a senior medical alert.
Heart Attack Victims Need to Get Help Fast
In the event of a heart attack, it is important to know the warning signs so help can be contacted as soon as possible. The major symptoms of a heart attack are shortness of breath, feeling weak or fainting and pain in the chest, jaw, neck, shoulders, arms or back. With a medical alarm, an older adult can call for help with the press of a button if they think they are having a heart attack.