What is “Normal” After a Heart Attack?
CAREGIVERS IN COON RAPIDS MN
After your parent has a heart attack, you know how important it is that they focus on their recovery and get healthy again. This not only helps them to repair the damage that their heart muscle has suffered during the attack and get back to as much of their normal quality of life as possible, but also helps to reduce the chances that they will suffer another heart attack later. As their family caregiver you are likely wondering what is considered “normal” during this recovery time so that you can make sure that they are recovering properly and that you are giving them the care and support that they need to make the most of their recovery.
Some things that you should know are completely normal after a heart attack include:
• Feeling tired. Your parent’s body will need to rebuild and recover after the attack. This means that it will need a considerable amount of rest. The damaged heart muscle might also not be able to pump blood as efficiently through the body, further contributing to feelings of tiredness and fatigue. It is normal for your loved one to feel tired throughout their recovery, and you should encourage them to rest, but they should not lead a sedentary lifestyle. They must stay mildly active and continue to increase their activity level as they recover to help strengthen their heart and protect their health.
• Depression. A large percentage of people who suffer a heart attack experience depression. This can come from a variety of factors, including facing mortality, the sense that they are not able to handle or do what they want or need to do any longer, and the thought that they will have to radically change their lifestyle until it is no longer “theirs”. You can help your parent experience less of this by encouraging them to seek out support, being there for them, and keeping them mentally and physically active throughout their recovery.
• Emotional response of the family. You might find that your entire family has a strong emotional response to your parent’s heart attack. Each member might feel anxious, sad, afraid, or even angry and resentful as a result of this attack. Be prepared for these feelings and ready to work through them together so that the family can be a source of encouragement, love, and support for your senior.
After your parent has suffered a heart attack is an exceptional time to start home care for them. A home care provider can be with your elderly loved one on a customized schedule designed not just according to their needs, challenges, and limitations, but also their personality, lifestyle, and goals so that they can enjoy a quality of life that is fulfilling, active, engaged, and healthy as they age in place. This can be particularly beneficial if you are a distance caregiver or you are not able to be with your elderly parent as often as you would like to be or feel that they need. This care provider can step in to provide additional support and care so that you loved one always gets exactly what they need both when you are with them and not. This means that they will be able to follow through with the medications and instructions given to them by their doctor, adjust their lifestyle to fit with the needs of heart attack recovery, and let you know if there is anything that might be wrong so that you can get them the help that they need.