Watch out for symptoms of heart distress, attacks

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In many cases, signs of heart complications can be overlooked. In addition to maintaining overall health, it also is important to keep stress levels at a manageable level.

When Mom or Dad need help, it is often the adult child or children that step in. While having loved ones around for both assistance and emotional support can be comforting for seniors, there are health risks that might come with a caregiving role.

Both the caregiver and elderly care recipient are at increased risk of heart distress.

If you are the primary caregiver for someone in your family, there are some symptoms to watch for in yourself as well as your elderly care recipient:

  • Tight pain in the center of the chest
  • Upper body pain
  • Indigestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Increased heart rate with no cause

There are several symptoms that women commonly report during a heart attack that are often overlooked. These symptoms might include pressure or tightness in the shoulders, neck, and jaw.

The pain is sometimes described as burning, tingling or fullness in those areas as well. Sleep disturbances and unusual fatigue in the days or weeks leading up to a heart attack also are common.

Certain factors could put you or your loved one at higher risk for heart distress. Having high cholesterol is a huge risk factor, so it is important to watch what you eat and limit foods that are high in animal fats.

Smoking cigarettes can cause blood pressure to skyrocket and contribute to other health conditions, including deteriorating heart health.

Obesity is a risk factor, so controlling weight and exercising regularly is important. Stress is also a contributing factor, so taking time out to relax and breathe might just save your life and your health.

If heart distress symptoms continue for five minutes or more, it is very important to contact emergency assistance. Call 9-1-1 if you notice these symptoms and get the appropriate help. It is important for you to take care of yourself as well as your loved one.

Having assistance from a professional caregiver can ease your stress and improve your health so you can provide optimal care for your loved one.

Learn to take a break if you are the primary caregiver so that you can take care of yourself as well as your loved ones.

James Wogsland, MBA and Certified Senior Advisor, is co-owner of ComForCare Home Care. JWogsland@ComForCare.com; www.HiltonHead.ComForCare.com

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