Recovering from a heart event is a big deal. Whether it was a planned surgery – like a bypass or angiogram – or an unexpected hospital stay from a heart attack or CHF flare-up, you’re probably wondering, “What happens next?”
Depending on how your recovery is going in the hospital, and whether you have any additional health problems or serious medical conditions, your doctor may recommend that you continue to receive post-acute care at a skilled nursing facility, like Providence. Our Cardiac Care Program can help with the transition from the hospital back to your normal life at home.
The goal of our Cardiac Care Program is to give you the best chance at an optimum recovery. We do this by giving you the around-the-clock support you need, while slowly and gradually building up the amount you can do independently until you’re back to where you were before going to the hospital.
We Know Your Heart
Your care will be supervised by our Cardiologist and their Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), working alongside our trained nurses and aides. Our team will coordinate your care with your primary care doctor so they know how your recovery is progressing.
Every patient’s care plan is different, but some of the care you might experience may include:
Daily Weights: Our care team will help you weigh yourself every morning. This is because weight gain is one of the first signs of heart failure – it means your heart is not pumping as efficiently as it should, and your body is retaining fluid. This is also called edema.
Medication Administration: When you were discharged from the hospital, your doctor probably prescribed some new medications for you. Our care team will make sure that your medicines are all coordinated and given to you at the right times. You might need IV medications such as Lasix, which is sometimes known as the “water pill,” and helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt.
Cardiac Diet: While you’re in the Cardiac Care Program, we will help fuel your recovery with a heart-healthy diet. We’ll focus on reducing salt while replacing it with delicious, nutrient-dense alternatives. The doctor may decide to limit your fluid intake for a while, but we’ll make sure you stay adequately hydrated.
LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator: If your doctor thinks you may be at risk for developing a life-threatening heart rhythm, he may prescribe that you wear a LifeVest. A LifeVest is a wearable, lightweight garment with sensing electrodes that continuously monitor your heart rhythm. If the LifeVest detects a dangerous arrhythmia (an unusual heart rhythm), our nursing staff will automatically get an alert so we can help you immediately.
Cardiac Rehabilitation: One of the most important parts of recovering from a cardiac event is physical activity, especially through a cardiac rehab program. In the Providence Cardiac Care Program, you’ll have access to our fitness centers where you can exercise in a medically supervised environment. No matter how physically active you were (or weren’t) before your hospitalization, our licensed therapists and physiatrist will meet you where you’re at and help you develop a sustainable routine that you can stick with.
Supporting Your Optimum Recovery
How quickly you’re able to return home will depend on the condition of your heart and how active you were before your heart event. Most patients stay in our Cardiac Care Program for about 20 days. Before you go home, we’ll work with you to develop an at-home care plan that covers diet, exercise, and medications, so you can continue your heart-healthy journey.
If you’re planning to have cardiac surgery, talk to your doctor about whether recovering with the Providence Cardiac Care Program is a good choice for you. The Cardiac Care Program is offered at the following Providence locations: