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

High-Blood-Pressure

About High Blood Pressure

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Known as the “silent killer,” high blood pressure (HBP) often shows no obvious symptoms. There are over 3 million cases of high blood pressure per year and it is most common in people over the age of 65.  If you have high blood pressure, you are not alone. Nearly half of American adults have HBP. If you are unsure if you have high blood pressure, the best way to find out is to get it checked. High blood pressure or hypertension means the pressure in your arteries is elevated. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. When left untreated, the high blood pressure forcing through your circulatory system can put you are greater risk for heart attack, stroke, and other health risks.

Those at a higher risk:

  • Have relatives with HBP
  • African Americans
  • Are over the age of 35
  • Overweight individuals
  • Aren’t physically active
  • Eat too much salt
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Have diabetes, gout, or kidney disease
  • Are pregnant
  • Taking birth control

Taking your medication:

  • You may be prescribed multiple medications.
  • Medicine is most effective when taken regularly.
  • Ceasing to take medication without consulting your physician can be dangerous.
  • Even after your blood pressure is lowered, you may still need to take medicine – perhaps over a lifetime, to keep a normal blood pressure.

Remembering to take medications:

  • Take them at the same time daily.
  • Take with meals or other reoccurring daily events.
  • Use a weekly pill box.
  • Use a calendar.
  • Leave notes to remind yourself.

Side Effects

  • Weakness, tiredness, or drowsiness
  • Impotence
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Depression, sluggishness, trouble sleeping, nightmares
  • Slow or fast heartbeat
  • Skin rash
  • Loss of taste or dry mouth
  • Dry, constant cough, stuffy nose, or asthma symptoms
  • Ankle swelling, leg cramps, or joint aches
  • Headache, dizziness or swelling around the eyes
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fever or anemia

Preventing high blood pressure:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Increase physical activity.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.
  • Consume less salt.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Avoid smoking.

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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