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Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.

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Uplifting In-Home Care Services for Seniors & Other Adults Right Where You Need It. Comfort Keepers Toronto, ON provides in home care services and senior care in the following cities in Ontario: Toronto, North York, East York, York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, Leaside, and Agincourt

Recovering From A Heart Attack: Tips And Suggestions For Toronto Seniors

Senior Heart Health  |  February 17, 2016

According to Heart and Stroke Foundation, more than 350,000 Canadians are hospitalized for heart disease or stroke every year.

Despite a 75% decrease over the past 60 years in the death rate of Canadians experiencing heart attacks each year, 1.3 million Canadians are living with heart disease1. Nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease; that is 90% of all Canadians. If your senior or elderly loved one does experience a heart attack, there are ways to make their recovery period as comfortable as possible. We have put together some helpful tips and suggestions to make this important convalescence period running as smoothly as possible.

Helping The Elderly Recover From A Heart Attack

A heart attack, also known as acute myocardial infarction (AMI), changes the lives of both seniors and their caregivers. Fortunately, because of advances in coronary surgery and care, seniors who survive a heart attack can often enjoy healthy, active lives for years to come.
What you can expect when your loved one returns home after a heart attack depends on its severity and the actual damage to the heart. Seniors over 65 may need eight weeks or more to fully recover, and are more prone to complications than younger patients. If your loved one has had a heart attack, it’s essential to understand the changes necessary for a successful recovery.

Senior Tip #1: Fight Depression

About one fourth of victims feel depressed, angry, and afraid after a heart attack. This is normal and usually goes away with time, as they get back to regular activities. Help by encouraging your loved one to:

  • Get a good night’s sleep, but not stay in bed all day.
  • Resume favorite hobbies.
  • Share feelings with the family, a friend, a clergyman, or support group.
  • Limit visits with friends and family at first to avoid feeling overly tired.

Increase visits, depending on how your loved one feels. With time, these visits can lift his or her spirits.

Senior Tip #2: Resume Activities

The first week home, your loved one may feel tired or weak. This is because of the damage to the heart muscle and bed rest in the hospital. For the first few weeks, loved ones should follow their physician’s discharge orders, which generally include:

  • Get dressed each morning and take care of personal hygiene (bathing, shaving, dressing).
  • Spread activities throughout the day. If your loved one becomes tired, he or she should rest and schedule unfinished activities for another day.
  • Walk every day as prescribed by the doctor for a healthy mind and to regain energy.
  • Slowly return to light household chores (cooking, light gardening, dusting, washing dishes, folding clothes).
  • Do not lift, push, or pull very heavy objects until the doctor says it is okay to resume these activities.

Senior Tip #3: Have A Healthy Diet

Eating a heart-healthy diet is very important to prevent future complications of heart disease. Strategies to reduce coronary artery disease include:

  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Eat a variety, and just the right amount of protein foods.
  • Choose fat calories wisely, and limit dietary cholesterol.
  • Use complex carbohydrates for energy, and limit the intake of simple carbohydrates.
  • Follow any physician prescribed dietary restrictions

Senior Tip #4: Take Prescribed Medications

Possibly the most critical step in recovery, medications are prescribed after a heart attack to:

  • Prevent future blood clots.
  • Lessen the work of the heart and improve its performance and recovery.
  • Lower cholesterol.
  • Treat irregular heartbeats, lower blood pressure, control angina (chest discomfort), and treat heart failure.

Your loved one’s doctor or nurse should review all medications with him or her. It’s important to know the names of the medications, what they are for, proper dosages, when to take them, and to keep a list and take medications to each doctor visit. If there are questions about any medications, ask the doctor or pharmacist.

Senior Tip #5: Make Necessary Lifestyle Changes

There is no cure for coronary artery disease. In order to prevent the progression of this disease, there must be lifestyle changes so the heart does not have to work as hard. For example:

  • Stop smoking, as it is directly related to an increased risk of heart attack and its complications.
  • Lower high blood cholesterol. Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol eating plan. When proper eating does not control cholesterol levels, medication is prescribed.
  • Control high blood pressure. A healthy diet, low sodium, exercise, and medications can help.
  • Maintain diabetes control through diet, exercise, and medications.
  • Follow an exercise plan to improve energy and overall health. Always check with the doctor first.
  • Control stress and anger with skills such as time management, relaxation, or yoga.

Senior Tip #6: Get Regular Heart Check-Ups

Your loved one should make a doctor’s appointment four to six weeks after leaving the hospital, or as the physician directs, to check the progress of his or her recovery. The doctor may also recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program in a medically supervised setting.
Comfort Keepers®’ trained caregivers help provide senior clients with the highest quality of life possible to keep them happy and healthy at home. Our Interactive Caregiving™ provides a system of care that addresses safety, nutrition, mind, body, and activities of daily living (ADLs) no matter what the weather.

For additional information on Comfort Keepers of Canada® at Toronto or any other Comfort Keepers of Canada® location please visit our home page or call us at 416-663-2930.

1 “STATISTICS.” Heartandstroke.ca. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. <http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483991/k.34A8/Statistics.htm>.


  • Heart and Stroke Foundation. “Statistics”. Web. 2015
  • Cleveland Clinic. “Heart Attack Recovery”. Web. 2015.
  • AgingCare.com. “Changes to Make in Your Life After a Heart Attack”. Web. 2015.

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