Specialized End-of-Life Cardiac Program Available - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

Specialized End-of-Life Cardiac Program Available

In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.

During October, we will be sharing tips to help you prevent heart disease and live a heart smart life!

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A Cardiac Program for Patients at End of Life

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Heart ‘n Home understands that you wish to remain at home and avoid numerous trips to the emergency room.  Our goal is to address your symptoms and concerns so that you can stay at home, comfortably. Heart ‘n Home has developed a unique Cardiac Program to meet your individual needs. The management of your cardiac disease takes a team effort and you are the key member on the team.  Our mission at Heart ‘n Home is to be your team and provide you with excellent care.

What you can expect from the Heart ‘n Home Cardiac Program:

• Regular visits from Nurses that are specialists in palliative and end-of-life care that can effectively anticipate, manage, and control your cardiac symptoms at home. The Heart ‘n Home Nurse will follow the direct orders of your physician.

• Patient education specifically designed for you and your family. If you have any questions about the contents of this booklet, please ask your Nurse.

• To be part of a team overseen by the palliative care certified Heart ‘n Home Chief Medical Officer. This team will work directly with your physician.

•  Medications given at the right amount to control symptoms and to have your medications arranged for and refilled as necessary.

• Additional support from a Heart ‘n Home Medical Social Worker, Hospice CNA, Spiritual Care Provider, and/or Volunteer at your request.

Coping with End Stage Heart Disease
Because your family and friends are affected by your illness, it is important to share your thoughts and feelings with them and ask for help when you need it. Sometimes just talking about your feelings with people who care about you can be beneficial.

Living with cardiac disease may mean dealing with a lot of different emotions. It is normal to have occasional feelings of frustration, sadness, depression, anxiety, and even anger. Many options are available to you, such as counseling and possibly medication, if needed, to help you better deal with these issues. If you are feeling stressed, talk to your Heart ‘n Home team. They can assist you in finding the best way to make you feel better.

Learn more about Congestive Heart Failure

Understanding Congestive Heart Failure

Understanding your illness and treatment can help you feel more in control. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Dealing with heart disease involves doctors, nurses, social workers and other specially trained healthcare professionals. You will receive lots of new and complex information and need to make many serious decisions.  So it is important to be able to communicate clearly with your entire healthcare team.

Heart failure stops the heart from pumping blood as it should, it doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped beating. The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t being met. Heart failure can get worse if it’s not treated so it is important to follow your physicians orders. When living a healthy lifestyle, you will feel much better and have a higher quality of life!

Results of Heart Failure

  • Heart does not pump enough blood.
  • Blood backs up in veins.
  • Fluid builds up, causing swelling in feet, ankles, and legs (edema).
  • Body holds too much fluid.
  • Fluid builds up in lungs, which is called “pulmonary congestion.”
  • Body does not get enough blood and oxygen.

 Signs of Heart Failure

  • Shortness of breath, especially when lying down.
  • Feeling tired and run-down.
  • Swelling in feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen.
  • Angina (pain or discomfort in the chest).
  • Weight gain from fluid buildup.
  • Confusion or unable to think clearly.

 Causes of Heart Failure

  • Clogged arteries don’t let enough blood flow to the heart.
  • Past heart attack has done damage to the heart muscle.
  • Heart defects present since birth.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart valve disease.
  • Diseases of the heart muscle.
  • Infection of the heart and/or heart valves.

 Treating Heart Failure

  • Rest.
  • Consume less sodium (salt).
  • Prescriptions from your physician to help your heart to function better and to help your body from retaining excess fluids.

 (Adapted from the American Heart Association)

 Free Guide to Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice

Hospice Care for Patients with End-Stage Heart Disease

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Our Cardiac Program is designed to provide support developed with each individual’s needs in mind. Heart ‘n Home is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for our patients and families. Care is provided by Heart ’n Home staff including Medical Directors, Nurses, Medical Social Workers, Spiritual Care Providers, and Hospice CNAs. Our cardiac team can visit individuals in their home and develop a Plan of Care with the patients’ wishes and goals as the main focus.

Talk to your physician if you SAY YES to 3 or more of these signs or symptoms:

  • Hospital visit for heart failure in the past year.
  • Need help accomplishing activities of daily living.
  • Daily chest discomfort.
  • Experiencing swelling in feet and legs.
  • Shortness of breath, especially while lying down.
  • Frequent gain/loss of weight.
  • Tired most of the time.
  • Short of breath when doing daily chores.
  • Chest pain when doing daily chores.
  • Tired of going to the doctor’s office and hospital frequently.

With support from the Heart ‘n Home Cardiac Program, together we will strive to:

  • Increase patient and caregiver ability to manage patients illness at home.
  • Increase confidence of patient and caregiver to manage patient’s symptoms.
  • Develop a Plan of Care to monitor and manage symptoms, thereby reducing episodes of crisis.
  • Reduce emergency room and hospital visits.
  • Put patient goals and wishes first.

Learn more about understanding Congestive Heart Failure.

Contact your cardiac team at 1-800-HOSPICE (800-467-7423) to get the assistance needed to stay comfortable and in your home.

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