Around two out of ten adults 65 or older have coronary heart disease. It’s not uncommon to learn that your dad’s heart health worsens as he ages, but it’s still alarming when you get that call.
It’s time to talk to his doctor. Ask these six questions to learn more about what he can do and what your family needs to do to support him. Home care assistance can help your senior with any recommendations made by his doctor, as well.
What Tests Are Necessary?
Ask your dad’s doctor if he’s being referred to a cardiologist. If not, make sure that happens. You want to know what comes next. Tests, such as an echocardiogram or Cardiolyte stress test, help determine what’s wrong, how bad it is, and what activities your dad should avoid.
Will He Need a Special Diet?
A heart-healthy diet is important when heart disease is diagnosed. Your dad’s cardiologist may recommend he works with a dietitian. Generally, your dad’s doctors will lean towards a diet that avoids saturated fat, excessive sugar and salt, and processed grains.
Instead, make sure your dad eats plenty of non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, seafood, and whole grains. Dairy low in fat is beneficial due to calcium and vitamin D.
What Medications Is He Taking?
If your dad is diagnosed with heart disease, he will be taking medications. Beta-blockers help lower his blood pressure. He may need diuretics to reduce fluid build-up. Blood thinners are also common.
Research the side effects once you know what he needs to take each day. He may find his pills make him dizzy or tired. He may need to monitor what he eats and drinks to avoid conflicts.
Does He Need to Limit His Activities?
Your dad may need to limit some activities and take more breaks when he’s active. If his doctors recommend that he stops doing things that increase his heart rate, get people to help out. If he’s told to limit activities, ensure that he has help at home with strenuous tasks like shoveling the driveway or moving furniture.
How Often Should He See His Medical Team?
If your dad is undergoing additional tests or follow-up care, it’s important to know if he can drive himself or needs a ride. Find out how long the tests take and make sure he has a driver available on those dates.
Your dad’s heart health reaches a point where he needs assistance each day, but you work full-time and can’t offer the required support. Talk to a home care assistance expert about home care services.
By arranging home care assistance, your dad has the support he needs with household chores, transportation, and meals. If he forgets to take his daily pills, home care assistance also provides medication reminders to ensure he never misses a dose of his heart medications. Call to learn more.