If you have a loved one with heart disease, the risk for heart attack is increased. What if he or she were to have a heart attack? How would this change your lives? What information would 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 simplest defense is a good offense, and being prepared now can (literally!) save you a lot of heartache later.
Hopefully neither you nor your senior loved ones will be impacted by a heart attack or heart related illnesses, but just in case, it’s a smart idea to make note of and keep these questions handy for future reference:
- Can I continue to engage in my favorite hobbies and 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 medical doctor know about any hobbies, interests, and exercise regimens you’d like to return to, and he or she can help you work towards that goal.
- What dietary changes might be called for? It’s important to consult with the doctor to set up a dietary plan that’s not simply heart-healthy, but one that you can continue with long-term. Keeping salt and fat to a minimum is important, but does not mean you necessarily ought to stay away from them entirely.
- How can my loved ones help? Choose several reliable loved ones and friends to help hold you accountable to your changes in lifestyle, and to support you emotionally as you adapt to these changes.
- It is ok to travel? There’s really no one answer that fits all when it comes to traveling after a heart attack. A general guideline is often to steer clear of traveling by air for at least two weeks after placement of a stent. Having a conversation with your cardiologist about when and where you’d wish to travel is always recommended, to weigh out the potential risks vs. the benefits.
- What long-term effects might I expect? The aim, of course, is to avert another heart attack, which means ongoing, periodic 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.
Midnight Sun Home Care offers expert assistance and support to people with heart disease and heart attack survivors, including preparing heart-healthy meals, running errands such as picking up groceries and prescriptions, and offering encouragement with following an exercise regimen. Call us any time at (907) 677-7890 for more suggestions, resources, and in-home care services in Anchorage and the surrounding area.