Stroke, heart attack, cardiac arrest: these conditions often appear suddenly and without warning. Every second counts. Consequently, we should all know the signs and what do if we see them, because we never know when we might encounter a person who needs help. But those who are caring for seniors — either at home, in assisted living, or in other health care facilities — should be especially vigilant.
This post from the American Heart Association site outlines the “911 warning signs” of these three common conditions, along with tips about when to call 911 (a good rule of thumb is to call immediately if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned).
We’ll highlight a few of them here; read the post for more information about each condition:
- Heart attack: chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath.
- Stroke: An easy way to remember this one is to think F.A.S.T.: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficult, time to call 911.
- Cardiac arrest: sudden loss of responsiveness, no normal breathing, no response to tapping on shoulders.
Seniors who live alone would also be wise to know these signs and have a quick and easy way to call 911 for help, be it a cell phone or PERS (personal emergency response system) like MedicAlert.