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Integrity Point of View Articles

What Matters: Heart Health

By: Integrity Home Care + Hospice

Don’t Be Salty

The greatest gift you can give a loved one this season to show appreciation is a healthy heart! Our heart is one of the only muscles in our bodies that never stops moving—can you imagine climbing a flight of stairs, consistently 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? Over exertion, stress and poor nutrition can all have immediate and long-term effects on your health. Heart disease is the silent killer of American women. In addition, more than 40% of men, particularly African American, live with high blood pressure—the leading cause of heart disease and stroke (CDC, 2016).

Reduce Your Risk

Reducing your risk of common heart conditions and complications begins with committing to a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few small changes that can make a huge impact on heart health: smoke cessation; engage in regular exercise; reduce salt intake; increase water intake; eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish.

Common Heart Conditions & Complications

Stroke

Reduced blood flow to the brain resulting in brain cell damage or death.

Hypertension

Prolonged high blood pressure leading to decreased vision, poor circulation and poor wound healing.

Coronary Artery Disease

Heart disease resulting from increased cholesterol in the blood that may lead to heart attack and increased fatigue.

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Increased fluid on the heart making it hard to pump resulting in reduced mobility due to increase fatigue and inability to sleep.

Kidney Disease

Not commonly associated with heart disease, but can be complicated due to poor blood flow and high blood pressure resulting in fluid retention.

Diabetes

Not commonly associated with heart disease, but can lead to poor circulation resulting in poor vision and wound healing.

Integrity Solutions

integrity solutions

Mobility

Help getting around the house and performing personal care and errands as fatigue worsens.
Regaining strength and assistance with medical equipment after a cardiac event or complication.
Assistance with comfort, personal care, and equipment to ease living.
Medication Management consultation to discuss medication side effects that affect balance and mobility.

Mental Status

Providing comfort and support in recognizing changes of behavior.
Education on complications from heart disease and stroke that affect mental status.
Skilled eyes and ears to identify the small behavior changes that occur due to progressive heart disease.
Oversight of medication interactions and side effects that effect mental status and desired medication effects.

Medications

Personal reminders and assistance to take daily meds and med setup by a LPN or RN.
Education and assistance with medication tolerance and interactions related to heart health.
Assistance with pain control and medications that matter.
Comprehensive drug review, medication delivery, and medication regimen management.

Meals

Assistance with cooking, eating, and shopping for a heart healthy diet.
Assistance eating and addressing chewing and swallowing.
Dietary review of what matters.
Dietary review of drug-food interactions, suggested regimens, and medication formulary to assist with swallowing concerns.

Focusing on heart health through the lens of our care compass helps us to anticipate, educate, and provide care solutions for the population we serve. If you, or anyone you know, can use additional assistance in any of these areas, contact our Care Navigation team today: CareNavigationReferralRequest@integrityhc.com.