Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Medical Emergencies You Need to Recognize as Parents Get Older

It’s not uncommon for the roles of parents and children to change as the parents get older. As your parents age, you’ll need to keep a closer eye on their health. Below are just a few of the medical emergencies you’ll need to be able to recognize as your parents get older.

Heart Attack

Heart attacks are distressingly common among older people. Unfortunately, the popular depiction of the heart attack doesn’t have much to do with what one looks like in real life. Most people who experience heart attacks note abdominal pain, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath among other symptoms. A real-world heart attack is often much less dramatic than those depicted in fiction, but heart attacks are no less dangerous for that fact.


It is vital that you move as quickly as possible if your loved one has a stroke. The warning signs of a stroke include weakness or numbness in the face or limbs, confusion, sudden trouble seeing, sudden trouble walking, and/or a sudden headache. If your parents have one or more of these symptoms, you need to get them to a hospital as soon as possible. Minutes quite literally count in this type of situation, so make sure that you’re familiar with how to spot a stroke.


Aneurysms can be deadly if not caught quickly enough. The most common sign of an aneurysm is a sudden, intense headache. This is often coupled with intense nausea, blurred vision, and it can even be accompanied by a seizure. If you notice any of these symptoms – or any of the other related symptoms – you should immediately contact a hospital and look into seeing Interventional Neuroassociates as soon as you can.

Spine or Hip Damage

Finally, you need to be on the lookout for spine or hip damage from a fall. This kind of damage is usually identified by pain and a loss of mobility. If your parent has suffered any type of fall, in fact, it’s probably best to get it checked out. While some of these injuries can be dealt with quickly, almost all of them get worse if left unchecked.

Make sure to keep a close eye on your parents’ health as they get older. Being aware of common problems is always a good idea, especially if you are their primary caretaker. With a little vigilance, you can ensure their quality of life.

Tim Esterdahl

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