Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and a heart attack is one of the most common forms. Recovering from a heart attack can be a difficult process, but being familiar with the challenges can make the process go smoother, and help family and professional caregivers be more equipped to meet the obstacles.
Fatigue is a common symptom of recovery from many medical conditions, and that is especially true in the aftermath of a heart attack. The key to helping the patient get back his or her normal strength is to start slowly. Building up from walking a few minutes a day to normal levels of activity can help them safely get their strength back.
Along with physical aspects to heart attack recovery, there are some mental challenges for patients to overcome as well. Most notably, many heart attack victims may experience increased anxiety following their incident because they are worried about experiencing another one. Additionally, about one-third of heart attack victims suffer from some depression in the immediate aftermath.
“Depression and anxiety are well-documented side effects of a heart attack,” Dr. Jason Freeman told AgingCare.com. “Usually, the person still can’t believe they had a heart attack. It’s a real blow to their psyche.”
Knowing the challenges of heart attack recovery is a key component of senior care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 785,000 Americans have their first coronary attack each year.