If you’re a family caregiver of someone with heart disease, there’s a chance that at some point someone you love may experience a heart attack. How will this change your lives? What information will you need to know? How can you help? The many questions of how your everyday lives will be changed can be overwhelming. As with anything, the most effective defense is a good offense, and getting prepared now can (literally!) help you save a lot of heartache later.
Certainly we hope neither you nor your senior family and friends will be impacted by a heart attack or heart-related illnesses, but just in case, it’s a smart idea for family caregivers to write down and keep these questions handy for future reference:
- Will I be able to continue doing my favorite activities? Bed rest isn’t always best, and it’s very likely you’ll be able to gradually get back into pastimes you enjoy. It is important to let your health care provider know about any activities, interests, and physical activity regimens you would want to resume, and he or she can help you work towards that target.
- What eating adjustments might be considered necessary? It’s important to work together with the doctor to put together a nutritional plan that’s not simply heart-healthy, but one that you’ll stick with long-term. Keeping salt and fat to a minimum is essential, but doesn’t mean you necessarily have to stay away from them completely.
- How can my loved ones help? Select several responsible members of the family and friends to help hold you accountable to your lifestyle changes, and to support you emotionally as you get used to these changes.
- It is ok to travel? There is no “one size fits all” type of answer for this question. A standard rule of thumb is usually to avoid traveling by air for at least two weeks after placement of a stent. Having a conversation with your cardiologist about where and when you’d wish to travel is always a good idea, to consider the potential health risks vs. the benefits.
- What are the long-term effects I can expect? The goal, naturally, is to avert another heart attack, which means continuing, regular medical appointments and testing. Following your doctor’s prescribed dietary and treatment plan will go a long way towards helping you stay healthy in the years to come.
Heaven at Home Senior Care’s Denton home healthcare experts provide professional assistance and support to heart attack survivors and their family caregivers, which includes fixing heart-healthy meals, running errands such as picking up groceries and prescriptions, and providing encouragement with following a fitness regimen. Call us any time at 866-381-0500 for more suggestions, resources, and in-home care services.