Summer Safety for Heart Disease Patients
It’s important for everyone to take care of their health in warmer weather. Our bodies are more susceptible to heat-related illness in the summer. Patients with heart disease, though, should take extra precautions during extreme heat.
Why are people with heart disease at risk for heat-related illness?
As the body heats up, our hearts beat faster and work harder to cool us down. When we sweat, fluids and minerals are removed from the body, further stressing our hearts. This can be dangerous for people with heart conditions. Further, many cardiac patients are on medication that help remove fluid from the body or change the way their bodies respond to heat. This should all be taken into consideration while making plans on warm weather days.
How do heart disease patients stay safe during the summer?
- Monitor Fluids
- Many cardiac patients must limit their fluid intake since an overabundance of fluid in the body makes it difficult for the heart to do its job. These patients (such as those with congestive heart failure) should always consult with their doctor about the recommended amount of fluids per day and stick to that number.
- Though cardiac patients may have a fluid intake protocol, they still need to stay adequately hydrated. It’s important to keep a bottle of water nearby for quick sips throughout the day.
- Caffeine and alcohol can be dehydrating. Consider restricting consumption of these beverages.
- Take Medications as Prescribed
- When packing for an outing or vacation, be sure to pack the right amount of medication needed. Don’t change your medication regimen unless directed by a physician.
- Avoid Peak Heat
- Outdoor activities should be limited to early morning or late evening when possible. Days are hottest during the afternoon.
- Stay Cool
- Spend time in cool or air-conditioned areas. Community centers, indoor shopping malls and local recreation centers can provide much-needed respite for people without A/C in their home. This is also a great opportunity to socialize or participate in a fun activity.
- Visit a shaded pool or beach on milder days.
- Take a cool bath or shower, or apply a cold compress to your forehead or neck.
- Protect Yourself
- Always wear sunscreen, even when spending limited time outdoors.
- Sunglasses and hats can protect eyes and head from direct sun.
- Choose shaded outdoor areas whenever possible.
Can home care help manage patients’ heart disease during the summer?
Home care is a great option for patients who are managing their heart disease at home. Elara Caring offers specialized programs through our skilled home health and in-home hospice services that are tailored to the unique needs of cardiac patients. Our personal care services team can also assist heart disease patients with daily tasks, like bathing and meal preparation.
Get in touch with your local branch to learn about services in your community.
If you’re a provider with a cardiac patient who would benefit from in-home care, submit a secure referral here.
Interested in joining our team? Learn more and apply online today.