Life at Home After a Heart Attack
Tips for caregivers and patients during National Family Caregivers Month
By Jim Blasetto, MD, cardiologist and vice president, AstraZeneca
Every year, thousands of Americans survive a heart attack, return home from the hospital and continue on their patient journey. It is important for patients to follow their doctor’s instructions when taking their medicines at home and making the necessary lifestyle adjustments to help reduce the risk of another heart attack.
During National Family Caregivers Month this November, learn more about the tools and support materials available to patients and caregivers to help ease the transition from hospital to home care.
Here are a few tips to help caregivers and patients work together:
- Immediately fill new prescriptions. Following a heart attack, patients receive multiple medications when discharged from the hospital. This can be overwhelming, but caregivers can help ensure every prescription is filled and taken as prescribed.
- Understand what each medicine does. Patients and caregivers can collaborate to create a list of questions that the cardiologist or primary care doctor can help answer during the next visit.
- Work together to create and follow a healthy diet and a doctor-recommended exercise plan. Caregivers can offer motivation and encouragement in establishing – and sticking to – new routines.
- Take advantage of the available caregiver resources, including those at CardioSmart.org and Heart.org, to stay informed and identify ways to minimize health risks.
As the saying goes, “home is where the heart is,” but together, patients and caregivers, can make home the place where healthy living begins – especially after a heart attack.