When a person has a heart attack or undergoes a heart procedure, such as angioplasty or heart surgery, the doctor often recommends cardiac rehab. Cardiac rehab is important for recovery, but your parent may be unsure of what to expect and that could leave them feeling anxious. Knowing what to expect during cardiac rehab can help your parent to understand why it is necessary and alleviate some of their fears.
What is Cardiac Rehab?
Cardiac rehab is a tailored program for your parent’s condition and abilities. Your parent will work with a team of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to start the recovery process. Family caregivers and home care providers are also an important part of the rehab team as they will be the ones to help your parent continue to recover at home.
Cardiac rehab involves four main components:
- Medical Care. Your parent’s medical team will monitor them throughout the process and tailor their rehab program to fit their specific needs. They will also evaluate your parent’s risks for stroke and heart disease.
- Exercise. The cardiac team will design an exercise program to help your parent build up their endurance and fitness. The exercise program will be created with your parent’s abilities and fitness level in mind.
- Education. Your parent will be given information about changing their lifestyle to promote better heart health. They will be guided to make better food choices and to break unhealthy habits, like smoking.
- Support. Finally, your parent will receive the emotional support needed to recover from a serious health condition.
Cardiac rehab may begin while your parent is still in the hospital or after leaving the hospital.
What Happens in an Inpatient Program?
If your parent’s cardiac rehab begins while they are in the hospital, the medical team will evaluate them to find out how much they are capable of doing on their own. For example, they will assess your parent’s ability to take care of their personal needs alone, which daily activities they can do safely, and if they are able to participate in light exercise. Your parent will also start learning about making lifestyle changes. Your parent may even begin their exercise program while they are hospitalized.
What Happens in an Outpatient Program?
Once your parent returns home, their outpatient cardiac rehab program will include exercise. During the early days of their new exercise program, your parent will be closely monitored to ensure safety. The medical team will also start working with your parent to help them return to their former activities. Your parent will also receive education about healthy living and support for good emotional health.
How Can Recovery Continue at Home?
At home, it will be up to family caregivers and home care providers to help your parent continue on the path to a full recovery. Your parent will need to continue to eat the healthy diet recommended by the medical team. Home care providers can help your parent to prepare meals that conform to their heart healthy diet. Home care providers can also encourage your parent to exercise and keep an eye on them while they do. They can also watch for any unusual signs or new symptoms that may appear and report them back to family caregivers so that your parent can receive additional medical help if needed.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Edison, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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