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Heart disease refers to a range of conditions affecting the heart, including coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, and heart arrhythmias. The CDC estimates that more than 27.6 million people have some form of heart disease and it remains the leading cause of death in the United States.
The term “heart disease” is often used to describe “coronary artery disease” — the most common form of heart disease. Coronary artery disease occurs when the blood vessels that carry blood around the body become narrowed or blocked. This can greatly increase the risk of a heart attack and stroke as well as causing a painful condition called angina.
People dealing with heart disease usually suffer from a range of side effects which greatly impact their lifestyle. Simple tasks like cleaning the home or cooking a meal can become difficult. This article will look at managing heart disease and the symptoms that someone with heart disease may suffer from before explaining how home care may help.
Understanding Heart Disease
Heart disease can refer to any condition that affects the structure or function of the heart. They include:
- Coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries)
- Heart attacks
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease (a malformation of the heart at birth)
- Abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias
- Heart failure (which can be caused by a number of conditions)
- Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
- Pericardial disease (swelling of the membrane surrounding the heart)
- Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)
The symptoms of heart disease can be quite debilitating and painful. They may include:
- Chest pain
- Muscular fatigue and tiredness
- Shortness of breath, particularly during physical activities
- Pain and numbness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
- Excess blood and other fluids causing swelling in the body
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Heart palpitations
Most forms of heart disease may be treated with medications, rehabilitation, and surgery. The most common types of medications used to treat the condition include ACE inhibitors (which open the blood vessels), anti-arrhythmic medications (to help the heart beat steadily), anticoagulants (blood thinners), beta-blockers (making the heart beat slower) and diuretics (to help remove fluid from the body).
Many of the medications used to treat heart disease carry strong side effects, which can also impact a person’s quality of life.
How Non-Medical Home Care Can Help Manage Heart Disease
The symptoms of heart disease can dramatically affect a person’s lifestyle. Suffering from chest pain, fatigue or dizziness may make it difficult to clean the home, enjoy an active social life or make it to doctor’s appointments. Here are some of the ways that home are can help.
Providing transportation to doctor’s appointments
It can become difficult to walk long distances, drive or take public transport if you are suffering from the symptoms of heart disease. Home care staff can provide transportation for clients, allowing them to get to doctor’s appointments and to enjoy an active social life.
Assistance preparing meals
People suffering from heart disease may require a special diet which avoids saturated, salt and sugar. Home care staff can help to organize a meal plan and prepare meals in the client’s home. They can also deliver pre-made meals if required.
Assistance with medication
Heart disease is often treated with a variety of medications, to thin the blood and regulate the heart. Home care staff can collect a client’s medications from the pharmacy and help the client to remember to take their medications.
The symptoms of heart disease can also make performing domestic duties around the home very difficult. A simple task like sweeping the floor can cause breathlessness, heart palpitations and chest pain.
Home care staff can perform a wide range of domestic duties on your behalf, ensuring the home remains clean and hygienic. The duties they can perform include vacuuming, laundry, washing dishes, cleaning windows, organizing the pantry and mopping.
People suffering from heart disease are often encouraged to perform some form of light exercise. It can help them keep their cardiovascular system healthy. Home care staff can help the client perform any exercises that are suggested by the doctor.
Assistance managing the household
Caregivers are available to help with other household tasks like posting letters, opening the mail, buying gifts, paying bills, grocery shopping and much more!
If you are interested in learning more about managing heart disease and how All Heart Home Care can help around the home contact us today at 619-736-4677. We offer free in-home consultations and can explain all of the benefits obtained from using a home care service!