A diagnosis involving heart disease can be quite scary. A way to approach the diagnosis is to become knowledgeable on the topic of how best to care for your loved one when they are diagnosed. The more knowledgeable you are the easier it will be to care for a parent should they be diagnosed with heart disease. It is beneficial to educate yourself to care for them but also to figure out how you can take care of yourself. Often caregiving takes a large toll on the family member providing the care.

Knowing where your loved one is in their diagnosis is a great place to start. Moving beyond that, you will keep communication open so your loved one is sharing how they are feeling, and letting you know if there is any discomfort or pain. If you can visit them often it will be easier to physically observe some of the changes that could occur. Whether you can visit them often or not, you would benefit from hiring an Aging Life Care Manager®. What we do is look at the whole situation and suggest a plan of care and options for keeping your stress lower as a family caregiver.

While caring for your parent, you can watch for the following things as symptoms that would indicate contacting their physician would be good.

  • Pain, numbness, and/or tingling in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain during physical activity
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Edema
  • Problems performing daily activities such as self-care, home cleaning, transportation, and mobility.

Creating a routine that takes into account the considerations required for caring for your parent with heart disease, can be hard to start. Your care manager will help you outline a plan and figure out the best way to handle each step of the plan.

The care manager would evaluate the current condition of your loved one, including checking their residence, their mobility, and overall outlook. After their visit, they will prepare a plan of care that will address all your loved one’s needs. This will help if you have other family members stepping up and will be easy to follow if you have outside help coming in. Some of the key points that will need addressed are blood pressure monitoring, medication scheduled and taken, meal planning and preparation, and exercise.

There will be transportation that will need to be considered as part of their care. Your care manager can not only assist with the planning, she can arrange for outside help, support the family, and help navigate the complex health care system for the highest quality of care.

If you are having concerns about managing the care of an aging loved one, please give us a call at 561-291-3699 or email us at info@palmbeachcaremanagement.com to find out how we can help.