Millions of Americans are affected by coronary artery disease, which is caused when plaque builds up in the arteries. Plaque buildup will make the inner walls of the arteries narrower, restricting the amount of blood that makes its way to the heart. This can cause the heart to lack the oxygen it needs to work properly.
If your senior is not properly cared for and their coronary artery disease does not get the treatment it needs, the result could be a heart attack or death. With the care and assistance of an elder care provider, your loved one will be able to reduce the number of symptoms they have, while also possibly living a disease-free life.
The following are symptoms of coronary artery disease and should receive immediate medical attention.
- Chest pain, also known as angina
- Palpitations, or irregular heartbeats
- A rapid heartbeat
- Feeling weak or dizzy
- Shortness of breath
If they are having a heart attack, they may experience the following symptoms:
- Discomfort that radiates from the back, jaw, arm, or throat
- A sensation that resembles heartburn or indigestion
- Nausea, vomiting, sweating, or dizziness
- Feeling extremely weak, short of breath, or anxious
- Irregular or rapid heartbeats
- Feelings of heaviness, fullness, pressure, or pain in the arm, chest, or under the breastbone
If the doctor suspects coronary heart disease is causing your loved one these problems, here are a few ways they may use to diagnose the senior’s condition.
- Checking the senior’s pulse: By checking your loved one’s pulse, the doctor will be able to detect their heart rate and rhythm. This will tell them if enough blood is getting to the arteries.
- Listening to the heart: The doctor will probably use a stethoscope to get a better listen to the elder’s heart. They will be able to check their valve and heart health by listening to the sounds in the elder’s chest.
- Blood pressure check: High blood pressure during rest times could be an indication of heart disease.
- Make realistic goals: It is unrealistic to think your loved one can suddenly have salads for meals instead of the steaks they were so accustomed to having. Help the elder make small goals they can stick to, such as quitting smoking or having a veggie instead of a snack with high calories.
- Join a support group: The elder can join a support group for others who have undergone similar health scares and who are trying to make healthy changes.
- Connect with loved ones: Do not have the elder make these changes alone. Offer to do them with your loved one in order to give them more motivation to stick to their goals.