Caring for a Parent Following a Heart Attack

Elder Care in Concord NC: Caring for a Parent Following a Heart Attack

Elder Care in Concord NC: Caring for a Parent Following a Heart Attack

A heart attack can be a life altering event, for both better or for worse. It can help one realize the goodness that resides in one’s community and family, and remind someone about the importance of appreciating the beauty of daily life. For some, it begins the development of a “bucket list.” For others, it brings a nagging fear. As a family caregiver, you will play an important role as to which scenario your parent finds themselves in.

The Role of a Caregiver.

Know that you are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack every year. Those that receive immediate medical attention have a much better survival rate with less long-term effects. For this reason, it’s important to know the warning signs and get immediate emergency care to your parent as soon as possible. While most people are aware of the general signs of a heart attack—chest pains, radiating pain down the left arm, shortness of breath, cold sweat and nausea—many are not aware of the more subtle clues. These include pain in the back or jaw as well as extreme fatigue. If you think your parent may be having a heart attack, call 9-1-1. Emergency first responders can provide life-saving care on the way to the hospital.

Recovery At Home.

To help your parent in the recovery process, be present for them for several weeks after they return home. They will need physical as well as emotional support. If your schedule does not allow for this, consider obtaining the services of an elder care provider. They can assist not only with everyday activities, but also provide the emotional support and comfort that your parent needs following a heart attack. Many fear that a second one may be looming. Having the presence and support of someone in their home helps take their mind off of the experience and places it on the positive aspects of recovery.

Your parent will, undoubtedly, be placed on a restrictive diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables. Be sure that you, as the family caregiver, are aware of any dietary restrictions as well as exercise protocol. Cardiac rehab is a vital tool that helps your parent adjust to life after a heart attack and places them on a specified diet and exercise program. It also helps them deal with the stress, anxiety and depression that often arise following a heart attack. If their primary health care provider has not suggested it, ask them why.

Make a list of all medications they are taking, the time of day and the required dose. If your loved one needs assistance remembering to take these, consider getting a medication reminder that sounds an alarm and has the correct dose already portioned out. An elder care provider can also remind your parent when it’s time to take their prescribed medications.

Consider finding a support group for your parent. It’s difficult to understand the emotional roller coaster one can be subject to following a heart attack, unless you’ve experienced it as well. A support group enables your parent to talk to those who do understand. They will receive essential support and, often, lifelong friends.

If you or someone you know needs elder care in Concord, NC, contact the caregivers at Affordable HomeCare. We provide quality and affordable care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at (704) 323-5454 for more information.



About Ted Nagraba

I am the Owner of Affordable HomeCare of Charlotte, North Carolina. Affordable HomeCare provides an alternative to the traditional solutions of nursing homes or other retirement institutions. Now, even with physical limitations, you can live the most independent and enjoyable life possible. With our personalized live-in or hourly care, you can continue to live in the comfort of your own home.