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Heart of the Matter: Caring for a Loved One with Cardiovascular Disease

A heart attack is a frightening and life-altering event for a person and his or her family. Not only is the person physically vulnerable, but specific lifestyle changes must be made to improve health and prevent another attack. Caring for an elderly family member who is recuperating from a heart attack can be very stressful for family caregivers. It is important for caregivers to recognize that and take strides to show love to themselves as well.

When providing care for a loved one who has recently suffered a heart attack or other cardiac episode, Independence-4-Seniors recommends the following de-stressors:

  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Accept that there are events beyond one’s control.
  • Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert feelings, opinions or beliefs in a positive way instead of becoming angry, defensive or passive.
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga or tai-chi for stress management.
  • Exercise regularly. A body can fight stress better when it is fit.
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Learn to manage time more effectively.
  • Set limits appropriately and say no to requests that would create excessive stress.
  • Make time for hobbies and interests.
  • Get enough rest and sleep. A body needs time to recover from stressful events.
  • Don't rely on alcohol, drugs or compulsive behaviors to reduce stress.
  • Seek out social support. Spend time with loved ones.
  • Seek treatment with a psychologist or other mental health professional trained in stress management or biofeedback techniques to learn more healthy ways of dealing with the stress in life.
  • Seek out respite care in the form of a professional home care agency to supplement family caregiving.

Caring for an older loved one is a challenge, and when that care is impacted by an event as serious as a heart attack, things can become even more stressful for both the caregiver and the person receiving care. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone involved. Click here to read our blog on some simple steps caregivers can take to help protect and maintain their own health and that of their loved ones.

Independence-4-Seniors' caregivers can help alleviate the stress of family caregivers while ensuring that their loved one receives the care and attention he or she needs. If you are caring for an older loved one in the Chicago area, contact us today to learn more about our in-home care services.

Posted February 06, 2014
Tags: heart disease

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Quotes from our ClientsHow do we begin to thank you for the wonderful support and care you gave to Mom and the entire family. Her illness was brief, which was a blessing. Out of all the bad came some good. We were honored to have Eileen move so willingly into Mom’s home and care for her for those few weeks. She not only took care of Mom, but all of us. She tenderly guided us through the process of Mom’s death. Eileen is an amazing and talented woman who quickly became a part of our family. We are richer people for her presence in our lives. It became apparent that there were angels along the journey of Mom’s illness and death. The both of you and especially Eileen are among those angels. Thank you!

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