How to care for heart patients at home
Heart disease has become one of the most common diseases in India currently. According to one recent report, one person dies every 33 seconds owing to a heart attack.Â Genetics and lifestyle are the two major factors behind heart diseases. These days our stressful lifestyle has become a major contributor to heart diseases.
We should all be aware of how to provide home care to patients with heart disease as it is becoming increasingly common. These following points might help you in providing better home care to heart patients:
- Diet– A healthy balanced diet is a must for cardiac patients. The diet should be based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It should be low in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar. A general guideline of one protein and two colours (fruits and vegetables) is recommended for each meal. Pay attention to sodium intake as too much salt intake can worsen the condition
- Exercise â€“ Exercise and physical activity is a must for cardiac patients. Consult your doctor and ask him how much physical activity is ok for the patient. Ask your doctor which kind of physical activity and how much should be done every day. The caregiver should be aware of this routine and they can help the patient with the physical activity. Patients should be motivated to do the physical activity and the caregiver can help with that. Exercise would help maintain the weight, control diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Medication– Ensuring that the patient gets the prescribed medication on time is a must for heart disease patients. The caregiver should ensure the same. Use a pill box if possible which would make organisation easier and will most likely eliminate mistakes.
- Monitoring– Keep a close watch on the condition of the patient and track the progress regularly. Know the signs and symptoms of worsening conditions as the condition may get complicated very quickly. The common symptoms are trouble in breathing, irregular heart rate, increased fatigue, dizziness, chest discomfort. The caregiver must be aware of these signs and symptoms and should not hesitate to call the doctor if any of the signs escalate or in a case of any discomfort.
- Well, Balanced Life– While everything else like the well-balanced diet, exercise, and medicine are necessary for care the most important part is well-balanced life. The patient should be encouraged to lead and enjoy a normal life including socialising, the pursuit of hobbies. The caregiver should encourage the patient to be as full of life as possible and not let him fall prey to depression or anxiety.
The family provides the best possible support to patients. But it is not always possible to pay complete attention to the patients at home due to our busy and hectic schedule. In addition, we are not trained to take care of cardiac patients. It is advisable to opt for a trained and experienced nurse at home who can provide nursing care at home. They would know the needs of the cardiac patient better and would be able to attend to their needs. You may opt for Home Care Attendant for daily care including helping in physical activity and other daily needs of the patient. This accelerates the rehab process. A Home Care Attendant ensure the patient has the food on time, helps in daily exercises and motivates them to remain healthy and active.