Recently, your loved one was diagnosed with heart disease. It's a scary time and you're at a loss on how to help your family member or friend. At UnityPoint Health - Des Moines-Des Moines, our team of cardiologists, cardiac nurses and other heart health professionals are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care and latest information to answer your questions.
For instance, did you know that many women who have suffered heart attacks, undergone bypasses or transplantation surgeries, become more focused on their health and well-being? That may mean changing lifestyles, eating habits and exercising routines. During these changes, your loved one needs your personal encouragement.
In addition, there are many other things that you can do to provide your support. Here are just a few tips offered by The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease:
- Sympathy. Show her understanding and compassion for how difficult and painful it can be to live with heart disease.
- Warmth. Be open and available to her conversation and silences alike. Hugs are always appreciated, but ask first if she wants one.
- Kindness.? She'll most appreciate little remembrances that show you are thinking of her. Send her a funny card or flowers. Drop off some fresh fruit or teas. Call and ask if she'd like to go out to lunch or take a walk.
- Attention. Listen to what she is saying and to any underlying emotions -- guilt, sadness, fear, or remorse. Give her feedback to let her know that you are paying attention both to what she is saying and how she is behaving.
- Acceptance.? Just as she may struggle to accept the reality of her heart disease, she needs to be told that you accept her just as she is and will not judge, ridicule, blame, or scorn her past or present behavior.
- Respect.? Allow her to recover in a manner and a pace which is most comfortable for her. Applaud her growing ability to nurture and care for herself.