During National Heart Month, there are two important ways you can give your heart some love: understand how to maintain heart health, and find out how home care can help speed recovery if you’ve experienced a cardiac procedure.
Look After Your Heart
These basic steps will help maintain heart fitness by keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control – two key risk factors for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Reach out to our care team for more tips.
- Change your diet. We really are what we eat. Substitute foods that are full of saturated or trans-fat, salt, and sugar with healthier choices such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats like fish and poultry, lentils and beans, and low-fat dairy products.
- Lower your weight. For a person who is overweight, losing even as little as 5% of total body weight can make a positive change in blood pressure levels. Incorporating the advised amount of aerobic workout (30 minutes most days of the week) is a good way to make this happen while strengthening the heart. Prior to starting an exercise program, make sure to talk with a doctor first, and start gradually, working your way up over time.
- Refrain from using tobacco and secondhand smoke. Quit – or avoid starting – smoking. But be advised that even secondhand smoke can damage the heart.
- Decrease stress. Life, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, is extremely stressful. Take time for yourself every day for at least 15 minutes to take part in comforting activities: reading a good book, listening to music, going for a walk, chatting with a friend, prayer or meditation.
Visit your doctor routinely. At least yearly, schedule a checkup to make certain that any new issues can be caught and taken care of as soon as possible, and any existing conditions can be kept under control.
If You Have Had Heart Issues…
Recovering from a heart attack or cardiac procedure can be a complex process, usually taking weeks or even months. During this time, you might have:
- Pain in your chest
- Depression or moodiness
- Appetite changes
- Swelling, numbness, tingling, or itchiness around the incision site
- Trouble with sleeping
- Difficulty breathing
- Short-term memory loss or confusion
- Weakness and lack of energy
One of the most effective ways to ease this healing period is to work with a home care professional, like Hearts at Home In-Home Care, a dedicated provider of in-home care for seniors. Health care professionals typically suggest having someone in the home for at least the first few weeks of recovery from heart surgery. Our caregivers are fully trained and experienced in watching for changes in condition and reporting them right away, along with providing valuable help in a number of ways, such as:
- Assistance with safely bathing and showering and getting dressed
- Companionship to take part in conversations and activities to brighten each day
- Meal planning and preparation
- Housework and laundry
- Medication reminders
- Motivation and encouragement to follow through with the doctor’s recommended exercise plan
- Transportation to follow-up appointments
- Picking up prescription medications and running errands
- And so much more
Contact us at 913-440-4209 following (or ideally, before) a cardiac procedure and let us help make the recovery process as easy and comfortable as possible. Hearts at Home In-Home Care proudly serves families throughout the Kansas City Metro area. Visit our Service Area page to find out if our home care services are available in your community.