The term “heart disease” refers to many types of heart conditions including:
- Blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease
- Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- Heart problems you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
- Disease of the heart muscle
- Heart valve disease (Mayo Clinic)
Most commonly, however, “heart disease” refers to coronary artery disease (CAD) which affects the blood flow to the heart, which can cause heart attack. (CDC) CAD is the most common form of heart disease, affecting over 20 million people nationwide and resulting in more than 380,000 deaths per year. (CDC)
Can You Reverse Coronary Artery Disease?
While some conditions cannot be reversed once diagnosed, people can reverse the narrowing of the arteries in the heart, according to Mayo Clinic Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Kopecky. Dr. Kopecky shared that individuals with heart disease can improve their risk factors for developing blockages that cause heart attack by making key lifestyle changes. “Once you do things like stop smoking, take care of your diabetes, take care of blood pressure, the progression stops.” Says Dr. Kopecky.
Learning to Manage Lifestyle Changes
People diagnosed with heart disease must manage several lifestyle changes to help curb the progression of the disease, which can be overwhelming and frustrating. Patients must often make major changes to what they eat, how they exercise, how they manage their stress, and how they monitor their symptoms on top of remembering when and how to take their new medications. It is a lot for any one person to keep track of, especially for older adults who may already be facing mobility or mental decline.
Getting Help to Make Lasting Change
There is no reason any person should have to go through managing heart disease alone. At ameriCARE, we believe that every person has the right to age and thrive in the comfort of their own home. With the help of our non-medical caregivers, individuals managing heart disease can get daily help with things like:
Nutritious Meal Planning
Abiding by Discharge Instructions
Going to Physical/Occupational Therapy
Picking Up Prescriptions
Visiting the Doctor
Taking the Right Medications at the Right Time
Getting Emotional Support
It’s not just the physical activities that our in-home caregivers can help with – it’s the personal connection they have with our clients that can make all the difference. Our non-medical in-home caregivers act as confidants, friends, and a sounding board. When patients get frustrated or lack the motivation to adhere to their new lifestyle, our caregivers can step in and help guide them back to the right course, by:
Talking with the Client
Brainstorming New Ways to Approach Lifestyle Changes
Connecting with the Client’s Family Members
Seeking Additional Insights from Our Care Team
Acting as an Advocate at Medical Appointments to Express Needs/Concerns
Get the Help You Need Today to Better Manage Heart Disease
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with heart disease and would like help, reach out to your local ameriCARE! When you contact our care team, you’ll work directly with local, compassionate, in-home care professionals to evaluate your needs. Together, we’ll create a unique care plan and connect you with experienced caregivers who match your personality and lifestyle. A heart disease diagnosis is frightening, but there are ways to improve your quality of life and help you feel secure, safe, and Happier@Home while managing your new lifestyle.