January 13, 2017

Heart AttackThis year, hundreds of thousands of people will experience a heart attack, and they will have been left with no time to plan for how this will change their everyday lives in so many ways. As with anything, the best defense is a good offense, and being prepared now can (literally!) save you a great deal of heartache later.

Hopefully neither you nor your senior family members will be impacted by a heart attack or coronary disease, but just in case, it’s recommended that you jot down and keep these questions handy for future reference:

  1. Will I be able to continue doing my favorite activities? It isn’t always the best idea to rest in bed. Eventually, you may very well be able to take up your favorite activities again. It’s important to let your physician know about any hobbies, interests, and exercise regimens you would prefer to return to, and he or she can help you work towards that objective.
  2. What nutritional adjustments may be necessary? It’s important to work with the physician to put together a nutritional plan that’s not only heart-healthy, but one that you’ll stick with long-term. Keeping sodium and fat to a minimum is essential, but is not going to mean you necessarily need to avoid them completely.
  3. What can others do who wish to help? Pick out several trustworthy family members and friends to help hold you accountable to your changes in lifestyle, and to give you support emotionally as you adjust to these changes.
  4. Will I be able to travel? There is no “one size fits all” type of answer for this question. A standard rule of thumb is usually to avoid traveling by air for at least two weeks after placement of a stent. Having a conversation with your cardiologist about when and where you’d like to travel is always a good idea, to consider the risks vs. the benefits.
  5. What are the long-term effects I can expect? The goal, of course, is to protect against another heart attack, which means ongoing, periodic medical appointments and testing. Following your doctor’s prescribed dietary and treatment plan will go a long way towards helping you stay healthy in the future.

Continuum of St. Louis, MO offers specialized assistance and support to heart attack survivors, which includes making heart-healthy meals, running errands such as picking up groceries and prescriptions, and providing encouragement with staying with a fitness regimen. Contact us any time at 314-863-9912 for further recommendations, resources, and in-home care services.