8 years, 5 months ago

This February is American Heart Awareness Month and at Mission Healthcare we want to take this time to explain how providing care for people with heart conditions in the home can ease hospital costs, reduce caregiver stress and increase patients’ quality of life.

Individuals with congestive heart failure can slow the progression of their own disease by changing some of their lifestyle habits such as, quitting smoking, losing weight and eating low-sodium, low-fat diets.

Even though these may seem like simple adjustments, many patients find addressing these changes coupled with the amount of medications they are taking to be confusing, daunting and difficult to tackle on their own. Often times, patients do not take the correct doses of medication, don’t know what signs to look for if medications are not working, or may not be on the correct medication schedule.

These confusions result in more hospital visits, more calls to physician offices, and puts an increased stress on the caregiver. It also decreases the quality of life for the patient.  As a caregiver, it is important to be educated about the patient including how to monitor their condition, what to do in emergencies, and the correct questions to ask at a doctor’s visit.

One way to ease caregivers’ worries is to include a home health agency in the process of taking care of a loved one. Home health care ensures that patients, their family members and their health care providers (doctors, nurses, and pharmacists) work as a team in managing heart conditions.  A professional in the home for even one to two hours a week can ease this process for the individual, the caregiver and the healthcare providers. By working as a team patients can live longer and improve their quality of life.

The more you know about your disease or your loved ones’ conditions, the more you can be involved in the care and treatment. Take time this February to stick to healthy living goals and educate yourself about home health.

Also, check out Co-founder and Director, Jennifer Robinson’s, Op-Ed in the San Diego Uptown News! http://sduptownnews.com/editorial-helping-chronic-heart-disease-patients-stay-healthy-at-home/