The Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme is offered to people who have suffered a heart attack. The information was provided on discharge from hospital, and I encouraged my dad to attend. My dad was very apprehensive about attending this, but I assured him it would be useful to his recovery, and it would give him the chance to speak with others who had gone through the same thing.
My dad received details of the programme through the post within a week of discharge from hospital, with an appointment for his attendance at the local town hall. We didn’t know what to expect, but when we arrived we were greeted by one of the cardiac nurses who discussed the programme with us, and proceeded to assess my dad’s condition, history, personal, and medical details. This meeting lasted about an hour, and included procedures such as blood pressure check, heart rate, weight and height.
After the assessment were given an appointment to attend the programme starting the following week.
At the first session we were made welcome, and it soon became clear that this was a very active programme, with people of all ages, all of whom had suffered either a heart attack or had heart problems. The sessions last 2 hours and consist of a number of exercises all done under strict monitoring, and a group therapy session.
When I collected my dad after the session, it was clear that he had found the first session a little tiring, but he was cheerful, and more talkative than I had seen him since his heart attack. I was pleased to hear about the walking exercise he had completed, as well as a session on the exercise bike.
My dad was very tired, and didn’t do much for the rest of the day, but he understood that this was part of his rehabilitation and that it would take time for him to build up his strength.
He started to looking forward to each Friday session, and each week I could see he was getting stronger, the cardiac nurses commented on his progress and were pleased with how much he was attempting on the sessions with their support.
I was concerned that my dad had been losing weight, nearly a stone since his heart attack. I didn’t know if this was due to the medication, as he had no taste, and no appetite. This was a concern, and the cardiac nurses always made sure they weighed him, and kept me updated on his weight each week. They also advised me how to introduce different foods, little and often throughout the day instead of the usual 3 meals a day.
I would strongly recommend this programme to anyone who has suffered a heart attack, or heart problems, as without this programme I don’t think my dad would have had the confidence to do any of these exercises, or the knowledge to know how much he was able to do safely.
The cardiac nurses are amazing, they reassure, encourage, and provide so much useful information on recovery and sustaining health after a heart attack.
This programme provides a safe and monitored environment, with experts on hand to encourage you at each session.
Details of the programme can be found on the British Heart Foundation Website:
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