Living with Heart Disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease, or simply, heart disease, is the No. 1 killer in America, affecting more than 13 million Americans.
Interim HealthCare has experience in helping individuals and their families live with CAD. We can customize a Home Care program for Heart Disease Patients that:
- Provides medication reminders, assistance, administration and reconciliation
- Teaches an individual how to recognize early changes in how they feel, and to take appropriate action to decrease episodes of serious illness
- Develops and/or prepares a heart healthy diet (including shopping and meal preparation, if necessary)
- Assists with physician follow up including transportation
- Helps with the daily activities of living such as bathing and dressing
What is CAD?
Coronary artery disease is atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, which may produce blockages in the blood vessels which nourish the heart muscle itself. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of arteries. This fatty material thickens, hardens (forms calcium deposits), and may block the arteries to different organs in the body, including the heart, brain, kidneys, male sexual organs or legs.
When atherosclerosis blocks the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, it is called coronary artery disease (CAD).
As the coronary arteries narrow, blood flow to the heart can slow down or stop. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, heart attack, and other symptoms, usually when the person is active. The most common symptom of Coronary Artery Disease is angina. Angina is chest pain that occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen-rich blood.
A risk factor for heart disease is something that increases your chance of getting it. You cannot change some risk factors for heart disease, but others you can change.
People with CAD may need help with daily tasks, such as fixing food and getting dressed, and with other activities, such as running errands and housekeeping. At some point, there may also be a need for health care support, such as managing medications, coordinating physician visits or transitioning to home care after a stay in the hospital.
- The risk factors for heart disease that you cannot change are:
- Your age. The risk of heart disease increases with age.
- Your gender. Men have a higher risk of getting heart disease than women although after menopause, the risk for women is closer to the risk for men.
- Your genes. If your parents or other close relatives had heart disease, you are at higher risk.
- Your race. African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans also have a higher risk for heart problems.