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Improving Outcomes for Senior Heart Patients: 6 In-Home Care Services that Can Help

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August 4, 2015

For seniors, the typical medication and lifestyle changes required to manage heart disease can seem overwhelming to remember and—for those with physical or cognitive impairments—difficult to carry out.

As a senior care professional, you’ve probably observed a positive difference between patients who comply with their cardiologist’s orders and those who do not. By educating senior heart patients about in-home care assistance as a solution to help them comply with medical instructions, you can help them live a high-quality life even in the face of a heart condition while helping them reduce their risk of a hospital readmission.

The Home Instead Senior Care® network’s Returning Home® Program includes a variety of in-home care services to help seniors transition safely home after a hospital stay. Here are six services to recommend to senior heart patients:

• Assistance with Doctor Appointments: It’s important for seniors to follow up with their doctors, especially when vital measurements such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are being monitored. A Home Instead® CAREGiverSM can keep track of scheduled appointments, prepare a client for the trip and provide transportation to the doctor’s office or rehabilitation facility. A Home Instead CAREGiver always stands ready to call for help at a moment’s notice if an emergency arises, such as any complaints of chest pain or discomfort after the client’s return home.

• Medication Reminders: Senior heart patients should be clear as to when and how their medications should be taken. A Home Instead CAREGiver can help by picking up new prescriptions and refills, and providing medication reminders to help reduce the senior’s risk of a medication mishap. A Home Instead CAREGiver can also make a note of any reactions or side effects so that they can be addressed during a doctor’s appointment or, if needed, sooner.

• Nutrition Management: A Home Instead CAREGiver can help with meal preparation, grocery shopping, and adherence to doctor’s orders on a heart-healthy diet. Preparing meals for a senior offers opportunities to interact as well as a chance to observe and record the senior’s food intake.

• Exercise and Activity Monitoring: The senior should follow his or her doctor’s instructions on frequency, duration and restrictions of exercise. A Home Instead CAREGiver can help by providing a reminder for prescribed activity and by observing and documenting activities.

• Companionship and Monitoring for Emotional Stress: It’s not uncommon for a senior to become anxious or depressed after a heart attack; in fact, experts link depression and heart disease. A Home Instead CAREGiver can help with companionship and by alerting family members or the senior’s doctor if any potential signs of depression appear.

• Assistance with Daily Routine: A Home Instead CAREGiver can help with light housekeeping. Assistance with bathing, dressing and toileting are other services that are also available.

Download a printable version of this list of services to share with your clients and visit www.ReturningHome.com for more information about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Returning Home program.

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