Medical Emergencies and the Elderly

As you get older, your health needs change. There are a number of issues that elderly adults deal with that younger adults may not need to worry about. These medical emergencies can send the elderly patients to the emergency room and may result in further complications. Here are five medical emergencies that you may need to be aware of.

1. Stroke

Strokes are a serious medical emergency that need immediate medical attention. According to the National Health Institute, the chance of having a stroke increase as you get older. There are certain conditions that increase the chance of a stroke including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Smoking can also increase the chance of a stroke. If you suspect you or a loved one is having a stroke, you should call 911 immediately. There is medication that can aid in the recovery of some strokes, but it needs to be administered as soon as possible after the stroke takes place to work.

2. Heart Attack

Another major medical emergency that many elderly patients face is a heart attack. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you think you or a loved one may be having a heart attack. One common sign is chest pain, but it may also feel like bad indigestion. Other signs may include nausea or shortness of breath.

3. Falls

Falls are more common in the elderly and the complications that can come as a result of a fall is more serious. Falls may happen as result of tripping over something, but they often also happen as a result of another medical emergency like a heart attack or a stroke. Falls can cause a broken bone or a broken hip. They may also lead to more complications, especially if it takes time for the person to be discovered. There are fall detection systems that elderly adults can wear. If they fall, the center will be notified and try to contact the center. If no response is given then an emergency medical team is dispatched to the home so that they can receive the help they need.

4. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious illness. It can make it difficult to breathe. Pneumonia is often a secondary infection, and there is a vaccination that you can receive to help prevent some strains of pneumonia. Many elderly patients are hospitalized if they contract it. The recovery time can take up to two months. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and it can make it difficult to breathe or get enough oxygen. It is important to visit the doctor or the emergency room if you are having a difficult time breathing.

5. Complications of Medicines

Forgetfulness and confusion is a common issue among some elderly patients. This can lead to confusion about the medications that need to be taken and when. If a pill is missed or a dose is doubled it can end up leading to a serious complication. It is important to call your doctor if you suspect that odd behavior is the result of missed medication. Using a weekly pill box can help with some of the confusion, but it helps to have another adult check to make sure that the medication is administered properly.

Learn more about how to avoid being compromised by a fall by having the SafetyWatch medical alert system with fall detection that contacts emergency personnel immediately should a fall be detected:

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