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

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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.

Last revised: August 4, 2015

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