Caregivers in Wayzata MNAs a family caregiver, the fear of your elderly parent experiencing a heart attack is likely something that is frequently on your mind. Nearly 790,000 people throughout the United States experience a first heart attack each year, and nearly 500,000 more people will experience a heart attack after already having one in the past. You likely put a considerable amount of thought and effort into helping your aging loved one prevent a heart attack and have educated yourself about what to look for if your parent does experience such a medical event. What you might not have realized, though, is that not all heart attacks are alike. More specifically, men and women experience heart attacks in different ways. This means if you are caring for your elderly mother, you will need to have a different concept of a heart attack in mind in order to protect her before, during, and even after the attack.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to women and heart attacks include:
- Though many people assume that cancer, and specifically breast cancer, is the leading cause of death among women, it is actually heart disease
- More women die from heart disease each year than men
- Hispanic and black women are at higher risk for both heart disease and heart attack than other ethnicities of women. They also tend to have more severe symptoms and less positive outcomes even after treatment
- Women tend to require longer stays in the hospital to receive treatment after a heart attack than men do
- Women with high blood pressure are at an even more increased risk of suffering from a heart attack
- Women who are suffering from depression have as much as a 50 percent higher risk of suffering from a heart attack than women who are not suffering from depression
- Diabetes can increase the risk of a woman experiencing heart disease to four to five times that of men
- Women tend to wait an average of 54 hours to seek out medical treatment after experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack
One of the primary reasons that women are more likely to die from heart disease and heart attacks than men is because these conditions are still largely considered men’s problems, and many women do not immediately think of themselves when considering heart health risks, more likely thinking of their husbands’ needs instead. Women also tend to not seek out emergency medical treatment for a heart attack because the actual symptoms of a heart attack in a woman can be very different than those seen in men. Because the symptoms that are more common in men are considered the “classic” or “recognizable” symptoms, when a woman experiences female-specific symptoms she might not realize that those are related to a heart attack and may not seek out the treatment that she needs, putting her at higher risk of serious consequences and even death.
Symptoms of a heart attack that are more common in women include:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Jaw pain
- Arm pain
- Sense of doom or fear
Keeping these things in mind can help you to tailor your care toward protecting your aging parent’s heart and recognizing when she may be in danger.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HELP FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS IN WAYZATA, MN, CONTACT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF MINNEAPOLIS AT (651) 262-2814. OUR CARING STAFF CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!