How Our Rehabilitation Center Helps You Recover from a Heart Attack

senior lady in senior rehabilitation recovering from a heart attack

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, over 800,000 people have a heart attack. About 25% of those heart attacks are the patient’s second. People over age 65 are at a much greater risk for heart attacks and heart disease for a number of reasons. Valves within the heart can become thicker and stiffer, restricting blood flow. A long history of hypertension can thicken the heart’s walls, which can create irregular heart rhythms. The increased sensitivity to salt that comes with age can raise blood pressure, making the risk of heart disease greater.

Cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) at a senior living community can help diminish the risk of additional heart attacks or other cardiac issues for seniors.

 

What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehab is a program designed to recover cardiovascular health after a heart attack, heart surgery or angioplasty. While each person’s program should be tailored to their circumstances and abilities, there are three universal pillars of cardiac rehab:

  • Fitness Coaching: Regular workouts strengthen a senior’s cardiovascular system. Secondarily, exercise helps control weight and diminishes stress — both of which are beneficial in preventing further heart disease or cardiac episodes. A fitness routine will look different for every individual. The senior’s capacities and background will inform what sort of exercise their rehab team will recommend. 
  • Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Education: There are many changes a senior can make to their lifestyle to promote cardiovascular health. Quitting smoking is one of the most important changes someone can make to bolster heart health. Nutritional changes, including adding more vitamins, minerals and fiber, can make a significant difference. And taking prescribed medications in the correct dosages and on the proper schedule will lower a senior’s risk of future issues.
  • Stress Management: Stress increases cortisol levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels — all of which can contribute to heart disease. Developing strategies to diminish everyday stress and cope with necessary stress are key components in cardiac rehab. Additionally, many people feel more depressed after a cardiac episode, and rehabilitation can help ease symptoms of depression and provide greater hope for the future.

 

Who’s Involved in Cardiac Rehab?

A multifaceted team works together to make a senior’s cardiac rehab a success. A physician must deem their patient eligible. Then, the team at the rehabilitation center at a senior living community, like Galleria Woods, will connect with the senior’s doctor to develop a strategy for how to proceed. Nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and a social worker will bring their expertise. The senior and their family will work with the team to create the best possible care plan.

If you’re looking for senior cardiac rehab in Birmingham, Alabama, Galleria Woods provides expert care from trained professionals. In addition to the medical and therapeutic aspects of recovery, residents enjoy three delicious meals each day, recreational activities, laundry service, housekeeping, and even a full-service hair salon and barbershop. With round-the-clock staffing, residents and their families can feel more secure during the recovery process. To find out more, reach out to us. A member of our team would be happy to tell you more.