Cardiac rehabilitation, or cardiac rehab, is a program designed specifically for each individual to help them recover from a heart attack or another kind of heart disease. It helps to build up the strength of the heart and improve the person’s health. Typically, cardiac rehab involves an exercise component alongside emotional support and teaching the patient how to live a healthier lifestyle.
If your aging relative is about to start cardiac rehab, knowing these 5 facts about it can give you a better understanding of what they are facing and why it’s important.
#1: Cardiac Rehab Requires a Doctor’s Referral
If your elder family member has had a heart attack or some other kind of cardiac problem, make sure the doctor gives them a referral to cardiac rehab. According to the American Heart Association, the number one reason people fail to go to cardiac rehab is that the doctor doesn’t tell them about it. Unfortunately, statistics show that if your aging relative is female, she’s even less likely to receive a referral from her doctor.
#2: Cardiac Rehab is Helpful Regardless of Age
You might think that your aging relative’s advanced age makes cardiac rehab futile. However, that’s not the case. Cardiac rehab can give them a chance at living longer. It can also make the time they have left of a better quality. Besides, the program is tailored to the older adult, so it will take into account their age and abilities.
#3: Cardiac Rehab Might Start in the Hospital
Doctors sometimes begin a patient’s rehab program while they are in the hospital. Then, they’ll progress to an outpatient program. Finally, when the health care team deems them ready to continue their rehabilitation on their own, they’ll be given a home-based program to maintain their gains. If rehab does not start in the hospital, it usually starts within a week of being discharged from the hospital.
#4: Seniors Shouldn’t Let Feeling Bad Stop Them
It’s not unusual for seniors to feel unwell for a while after a heart attack. However, they shouldn’t let that stop them from participating in cardiac rehab. It can become an excuse that causes them to quit altogether. Instead, they should talk to their health care team about how they are feeling as there may be treatments available and the program can be adjusted to meet their needs.
#5: Elder Care Can Help with Cardiac Rehab
It can be difficult for family caregivers to get seniors to their rehab program because they have to work, have other responsibilities, or don’t live nearby. Elder care providers can drive the senior to rehab and back home when they are done. Elder care providers can also encourage them to follow lifestyle changes at home, such as eating healthy meals and getting enough rest. An elder care provider can prepare heart-healthy meals while the senior rests. They can also assist with household tasks, such as cleaning and laundry, while the older adult is recovering.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
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