A heart attack occurs when an artery becomes blocked and keeps blood from getting to the heart, which can lead to irreversible damage to the heart muscle. If your aging relative has had a heart attack, you might be interested to know that there is more than one kind of heart attack.
Types of Heart Attack
Heart attack may also be referred to as a myocardial infarction. There are three kinds of heart attack. Two of them are described in terms of the way they look on an electrocardiogram. Doctors use the “ST segment” to determine the kind of heart attack.
• STEMI: This is an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. This kind of heart attack has an elevated ST segment. It is the kind of heart attack that most people are familiar with as it is the “classic” or “major” heart attack. A STEMI occurs when the blockage affects a coronary artery, keeping blood from a large area of the heart muscle. It can cause serious and permanent damage.
• NSTEMI: This is a non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. The coronary artery is partly blocked. Doctors will perform a coronary angiography to determine how large the blockage is. The damage to the heart is usually less than with a STEMI, but it is still a serious condition.
• Coronary Spasm/Unstable Angina: This kind of heart attack is also referred to as a “silent heart attack.” In this kind of heart attack, the artery spasms and becomes so tight that it stops the flow of blood. Some people mistake it for muscle pain or indigestion. A coronary spasm doesn’t cause permanent damage, but it does increase the chances of having another heart attack, which could be worse.
Preventing Heart Attack
If your older family member has had a heart attack or is at risk for one, there are ways they can reduce the risk. Some tips for preventing a heart attack are:
• Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week.
• Stick to a heart-healthy, balanced diet.
• Limit unhealthy foods, like red meat, processed foods, and sugary drinks.
• Don’t use tobacco.
• Manage existing conditions and take medications as directed.
• Try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
• Manage stress.
• See the doctor regularly.
Senior care can assist older adults to prevent a heart attack by assisting them to live a healthier lifestyle. Senior care providers can plan and prepare heart-healthy meals. If the older adult needs assistance to grocery shop, a senior care provider can drive them to the store and help them to make healthy choices. Senior care providers can also increase physical activity by taking walks with the older adult or involving them in activities around the house.
If you or a loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Bethlehem, PA, talk to Unlimited Staffing Solutions. Specializing in Home and Community Based Support Waiver Services Since 2001. Please Call Us for Your Home Care Needs (215) 447-7133