Following a heart attack, it’s far too easy for family members to discourage their loved ones from doing any type of activity that requires exertion. They immediately assume physical exertion is going to increase the risk of another attack occurring shortly.
In truth, following a hospitalization, doctors are going to offer a lot of instructions and likely recommend proper support, at least for a few weeks during the recovery. The support can help reduce the risk of a readmission, but it also encourages a healthy recovery. Following a heart attack, there are several things patients and their family members should know about the recovery process itself.
1. Recovery is possible.
It may seem as though a person who just suffered a heart attack is never going to get back to 100 percent of their vitality, but that may be possible. It all depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the heart attack itself.
2. Exercise may be essential.
Only their doctor can recommend exercise or not. If the doctor has recommended exercise, the family should understand the value of exercise. Since the heart is a muscle, it needs exercise to get stronger. Depending on the severity of the heart attack, exercise may be limited, so whoever is going to support this senior should be clear on what is expected.
3. The senior should always consult his or her doctor about new activities.
When the desire to pursue certain activities arises, that senior should talk to his or her doctor and explain what activities they want to pursue and find out if it’s safe for them to do so. They should never assume it’s okay because their doctor recommended exercise.
Some activities are more demanding of the body and heart than what that senior can handle.
4. The heart is a muscle.
As mentioned, the heart is a muscle. As such, it requires regular exercise to not just get stronger, but to remain as strong as possible.
5. Failing to follow instructions increases the risk of a readmission.
If a senior is not following his or her doctor’s instructions, the risk of a readmission to the hospital increases. That reduces the chances of recovery, but also increases the number of other complications. If the senior has to be readmitted to the hospital, the chances of making a healthy recovery again may diminish.
Having the right support and care at home is the start of any quality recovery process. Knowledge and information are also fundamental.