To Care for the Heart, Caregivers Need to Care for the Whole
When a loved-one experiences a heart attack or stroke, it seems logical to focus on a laundry list of steps that can be taken to ensure that the damaged heart heals and the person’s lifestyle choices that contributed to the heart attack are changed. Hired Hands Homecare receives calls from families throughout California, from Marin to Sonoma, requesting, as part of their in-home care, lists of actionable items – to-do lists for care and heart health. In a situation fraught with chaos, lists give caregivers a sense of control. They are the instruction manual for the caregivers’ new reality, helping them know what they should do to encourage healing and keep another heart attack from happening.
That information is available, and when combined with Hired Hands’ in-home care services, makes a tremendous difference in a patient’s outcome. However, there is another side to the patient’s healing that is often overlooked. After surviving a heart attack or stroke, patients are often overwhelmed with changes. The ‘instruction manuals,’ which provide comfort and a sense of order for the caregivers, are often an entirely new set of rules to live by for the patient, and will likely restrict or redefine old lifestyle choices. The overall experience of the patient living this newly-modified life may result in anger, agitation, fearfulness, or temporary depression.
If clinical depression is suspected, it is important to notify a physician for assistance. Below are telltale signs to help you recognize clinical depression:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep changes—either insomnia, especially waking in the early morning hours, or oversleeping
- Feeling “keyed up” and restless or feeling sluggish and physically slowed down
- Self-loathing marked by strong feelings of worthlessness, or harsh criticism of perceived faults and mistakes
- Trouble focusing, making decisions or remembering things
Managing change and making it possible for your loved one to achieve a sense of normalcy after a heart attack or stroke is not easy, but Hired Hands Homecare helps families get there every day. You are not alone. The wheel does not need to be reinvented. We are here, and we have the tools, knowledge, compassion and training you can rely on to successfully get there too.
Let Hired Hands Homecare help you care for your loved one after a stroke or heart attack in the setting of your choice: your house, an assisted living facility, a skilled nursing facility, or a memory care facility. For more information about our home care services throughout Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties and the Tri Valley area, or for help determining the level of home care your loved one requires, call us at (866) 940-4343.