Jerome, age 84, was taking a walk with his son, Alex, when he started to feel pain in his chest. Alex knew chest pain was nothing to mess around with and called 9-1-1 immediately. Jerome was rushed to the hospital where doctors performed numerous tests to determine the problem. After a few hours of agonizing worry, Jerome’s doctors diagnosed him with a condition called angina pectoris, or stable angina. Alex had never heard of the condition, so he had no idea what that meant for his elderly father. He knew that learning more about the condition would make him a better caregiver for Jerome.
What is Stable Angina?
Stable angina is the term used when a person experiences pain or discomfort in their chest. It usually happens during physical activity or when the person is under emotional stress. It happens because circulation to and from the heart is compromised, reducing the heart’s supply of blood.
While stable angina isn’t as serious as the pain caused by unstable angina, it should still be taken seriously. Having stable angina can be viewed as a warning sign for more severe heart problems, such as coronary artery disease. It may even be a signal of an upcoming heart attack.
What are the Symptoms?
The main symptom of stable angina is chest pain. It generally comes and goes. People describe the pain in different ways, such as:
- A squeezing feeling.
- A full feeling.
- Feeling like the chest is compressed.
During an episode of stable angina, the older adult might also feel pain in their neck, jaw, arms, or shoulders. It can also cause:
- Trouble breathing.
- Fast breathing.
- A palpitating heart.
What are the Risk Factors?
There are many things that can make older adults more likely to experience stable angina. These are called risk factors. Having risk factors for a condition doesn’t necessarily mean the problem will occur, just that it is more likely. Some of the risk factors for stable angina are:
- Being overweight.
- High blood pressure.
- Lack of exercise.
- High bad cholesterol or low good cholesterol.
When a person is diagnosed with stable angina, doctors usually recommend making some lifestyle changes. For caregivers, that means helping your loved one to live a healthier lifestyle. Caregivers can promote better heart health by preparing heart healthy meals and encouraging the senior to exercise. If you need help caring for your aging relative with stable angina, home care can help. Not only can they help the senior to make healthy lifestyle changes, they can also assist with tasks that make living alone difficult.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Spokane Valley, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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