8 Tips to Support an Older Adult with Heart Disease
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 09, 2023
Taking care of a parent with heart disease can be a challenging responsibility. As our loved ones grow older, it’s important to provide the necessary support and care they need to manage their heart condition effectively. In this article, we will discuss eight tips that can help you take care of an older adult with heart disease, ensuring their well-being and overall health.
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Talk openly about financial aspects
At the beginning of their medical treatment, it is crucial to have an open conversation with your parents about the financial aspects involved. Discuss their medical insurance, personal savings, or your willingness to provide financial support if needed. By addressing these concerns, you can reassure them that finances will not be a barrier to their treatment. Many times, parents avoid seeking necessary heart-related treatments due to worries about becoming a burden on their children.
Divide responsibilities with siblings
If you have siblings, it’s important to determine and divide responsibilities among yourselves. Discuss how you will handle financial matters, time commitments, and other aspects of caregiving. By sharing the responsibilities, you can provide better support to your parent and ensure that their needs are met.
Educate yourself about their ailment
Take the time to familiarize yourself with your parent’s specific heart condition. Learn about the disease process, its manifestations, possible outcomes, prognosis, and treatment options. You can consult with their doctor or reliable sources on the internet to gain a better understanding. This knowledge will help you actively participate in shared decision-making with healthcare professionals, ensuring the best possible treatment approach based on clinical practices and your parent’s preferences.
Be present during doctor visits
Accompany your parent during their regular visits to the doctor. Your presence will not only provide reassurance but may also encourage them to share all the information the doctor provides. Sometimes, parents hesitate to burden their children with medical details or concerns. Additionally, assisting them in organizing their medical reports and keeping copies can be helpful.
Support lifestyle and dietary changes
Encourage and support your parent if they are advised to make significant lifestyle and dietary changes. Making these changes together can create a sense of unity and make the process easier for your loved one. Participating in their diet changes and physical activities, such as going for walks together, can make a positive impact on their overall health.
Monitor medication adherence
Ensure that your parent takes their prescribed medications regularly and as advised. Medication adherence is vital in preventing further cardiac events. Periodically count their pills to ensure they are following the prescribed regimen. Sometimes, due to memory impairments or other reasons, parents may unintentionally miss their medications.
Consider additional support
If your parent is bedridden or has a debilitating illness, it may be beneficial to seek additional support. Hiring a nurse or a house-help can provide the necessary assistance in looking after your parent’s daily needs and ensuring their comfort and well-being.
Stay vigilant for signs of worsening condition
Keep a close eye on your parent’s health and be attentive to any signs or symptoms of worsening heart condition. Look out for chest pain, breathlessness, fatigue, or swelling of the feet. Prompt medical attention can help prevent hospitalization or adverse cardiac events.
In conclusion, caring for an older adult with heart disease requires patience, understanding, and support. Treat them with the same love and compassion you would provide to your child. Offer physical, emotional, and financial assistance as they navigate their way through their heart ailment. By following these tips, you can make a significant difference in their quality of life and overall well-being.