Life is full of surprises. While some unexpected changes are welcomed such as winning the lottery, others can lead to shock, anxiety, stress and grief. One example of an unwelcome surprise from life is suffering a heart attack. While we may associate heart attacks with old age, that isn’t always the case.
In this post, we explore risk factors for having a heart attack, the many emotions a person affected may feel afterwards, and how homecare across Suffolk, Essex, and Greater London can help you manage life after a heart attack with compassion and sensitivity.
Heart attacks 101
First of all, we want to reiterate the fact that it’s not just elderly people who experience heart attacks. It’s time we bust this myth once and for all. Younger people can also suffer heart attacks, due to a variety of risk factors which we’ll discuss in further detail below.
Heart attacks are caused by the sudden interruption of blood supply to the heart. Without the supply of blood it needs, heart muscles can become damaged and begin to die. If a large portion of the heart is damaged like this, the heart will stop beating which will result in death. This is known as cardiac arrest.
Risk factors for heart attacks
Now that we know it’s not just elderly people who are at risk for suffering a heart attack, let’s take a look at some of the common risk factors that can affect younger people too. Common risk factors include:
- emotional stress
- family history
- pre-existing conditions
- poor diet
- lack of exercise
- tobacco use
- illegal drug use
- autoimmune condition
- high blood pressure.
It’s okay to ask for help
Have you ever had difficulty asking someone for help? Perhaps you felt embarrassed or ashamed to express a need. Perhaps you didn’t believe you deserved to be helped. Or perhaps you feared being rejected. Whatever the reason, at some point in our lives, all of us may struggle to ask for support.
When it comes to experiencing a heart attack, we recognise that many young survivors struggle to ask for help, perhaps because they don’t fit the stereotypical image of someone who might have suffered a heart attack. This can lead to feelings of embarrassment, fear and even denial, all of which can lead to putting up barriers.
We want you to know that it’s a strength to ask for help. And we are here for you.
Life after a heart attack
Following a heart attack, life changes. Recovery can take several months, during which you’ll speak to nurses, dietitians, exercise specialists and more. Aims of the recovery process include restoring your physical fitness and reducing the risk of future heart attacks. During the rehabilitation process, you may require extra support around the home, getting to and from appointments and managing both your mental and physical health. Our compassionate carers are here for you. We support people with complex conditions by providing personalised and practical help in the comfort of their home so that you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Get in touch
If you or a loved one have recently suffered a heart attack and could benefit from extra support, let’s talk. Please feel free to get in touch with any of your questions. One of our friendly staff would be pleased to provide more information on how we can help you.