It feels like chest pain. It comes with dizziness and trembling. Hands or feet feel like they’re going numb. Perhaps fear of imminent death occurs. These are just a few of the symptoms of a panic attack. This condition is often overwhelming and hard to cope with. Even though panic attacks are more common among younger individuals, seniors can get them, too. How can you help?
Causes and Treatments for Panic Attacks in Seniors
Helping an elderly person who suffers from panic attacks first involves understanding what the causes and treatments for them are.
Our parents or grandparents may experience panic attacks for several reasons. Sometimes, they can be triggered by high stress, trauma, or other conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia, or mental illness.
Other risk factors for anxiety in elderly adults may include suffering from chronic medical diseases, negative or traumatic childhood events that have been left unresolved, or lack of sleep.
Most commonly, anxiety disorders are treated through a combination of psychotherapy and medication, although some patients may be advised to try just one of these forms of treatment.
Panic Attack Risks for Older Individuals
Our senior loved ones are often put at risk by these attacks. For instance, a recent study performed by Prof. Gary Wittert from the University of Adelaide’s School of Medicine in Australia found that, compared to those who do not suffer from panic attacks, individuals who do, seem to have a 36% higher risk of developing a heart attack.
The same study also proved that people who suffer from panic disorders are also at a 47% higher risk of developing a heart disease.
Other complications associated with panic attacks involve alcohol abuse, the development of phobias like agoraphobia, suicidal thoughts, isolation, or often needing medical attention because of health concerns.
Medical Alert Systems: How Can They Help?
Panic attacks can, therefore, severely affect the wellness, lives, and health of seniors who suffer from them. In the event of such an episode, it is helpful for the sufferer and the emergency responders to have a medical alert system to notify the senior citizen’s loved ones and healthcare specialists.
A medical alert system is especially useful because it can put the user’s mind at ease when it comes to letting their families or caregivers know about their needs in case of emergencies. A great solution would be to have such a device as a necklace or wristband, enabling the elderly citizens to live safely and relaxed knowing they will be taken care of, if necessary.
Having such equipment could reassure everyone involved in the senior’s life that their loved one is safe and that they’ll be alerted when they’re needed. Even more, it may actually improve the sufferer’s health, since he or she can still be independent despite the condition.
Optimism is a great health boost especially when it comes to panic attacks. With a positive mindset, the person wearing the medical alert device will have a better perspective on life and his or her health will most likely improve.
Best Medical Alert Systems of 2020
|Editor's Choice 2020|