You can’t always be there. But we can.
After someone suffers a heart attack the decisions that they make and the steps that they take will make a tremendous difference in how they are able to regain, establish, and maintain their health and well-being as they move forward in their recovery and focus on aging in place.
One decision that your parent might be asked to make is whether they are going to engage in cardiac rehabilitation. Not everyone who suffers a heart attack is eligible to participate in this type of treatment, but if your loved one is, they could receive a wide variety of benefits from it and be able to live a healthier lifestyle throughout their later years. By understanding this treatment, you might be able to work with them and their doctor to help them determine if this the right decision for them.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a highly customizable course of management and treatment designed to help your loved one regain and increase their heart health. This course of treatment is broken into three primary goals. These include:
• Education. Your parent cannot be expected to live a heart-healthy lifestyle if they do not know what this type of lifestyle truly entails. One of the elements of cardiac rehabilitation is educating your parent on a heart-healthy lifestyle, including making them aware of their personal risk factors, quitting smoking and other dangerous choices, making good nutritional choices, and more.
• Exercise counseling. The heart is a muscle and like the other muscles throughout the body, it needs proper and ongoing use to stay strong and healthy. This is especially important after a heart attack. During cardiac rehab your parent can undergo counseling about the safe and effective modes of exercise they can use to keep their body healthy and strengthen their heart, as well as actual training. This will help them to understand what type of exercise they should do and how to do it properly so that they can gain the benefits without excessively taxing their body.
• Stress reduction counseling. Stress is difficult on the heart and can increase the risk of further heart problems. During rehab your parent can undergo counseling to help them identify the causes of stress, reduce those causes, and find ways to manage their stress as they age.
If your elderly loved one has recently suffered a heart attack, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A caregiver can be a valuable support to the care that you already give them, supplementing your efforts and creating a course of care, support, assistance, and encouragement designed to address their individual needs, challenges, limitations, personality, lifestyle, and goals.
This means that they can make the most of their recovery period to help support their ongoing health and reduce the risk of suffering a subsequent heart attack, and them move forward to enjoy the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. If they are engaged in cardiac rehabilitation, this caregiver can be an extra set of eyes and hands to give your parent the support and encouragement that they need to manage their daily needs and challenges, while also ensuring that they follow through with the guidelines and instructions of their rehab plan. This can give you confidence and peace of mind that your parent is on the right track toward achieving their health goals in their later years.