Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

The Link Between Heart Attacks and Depression, and the Warning Signs You Need to Know

Learn the warning signs of depression after a client’s heart attack

Anyone who has experienced a heart attack or stroke knows that it’s truly life-changing. Although many of the changes that follow such an incident can be positive ones – like maintaining a healthier diet and lifestyle – they can also be extremely challenging. Suddenly, the person is forced to give up favorite comfort foods, smoking, and other unhealthy habits, in addition to a recovery period that is necessary after the heart attack or stroke itself, all of which can result in feelings of frustration or even clinical depression.

Hillendale Homecare suggests keeping a close eye on the person in your care if he or she is recovering from a heart attack or stroke, and let your supervisor know immediately if any of these warning signs are observed:

  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in activities that he or she once enjoyed
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Changes in sleep, such as insomnia, waking in the early morning hours, or oversleeping
  • Feeling anxious and restless or sluggish and physically slowed down
  • Feeling worthless, or expressing harsh criticism of perceived faults and mistakes
  • Trouble with staying focused, making decisions, or with memory

Recovering from a heart attack or stroke can be challenging not only for the individual, but for his or her family caregivers as well. As a caregiver, you are a vital link to the overall wellbeing of both the heart attack or stroke survivor, and the family members who desperately need time away to take care of their own personal needs and lives.

Whether care tasks include planning and preparing meals and/or assistance with feeding, helping with housework and laundry, personal care tasks, running errands, offering transportation, providing companionship, or any other services, know that you are making a difference in more ways than you can imagine.

If you are not yet part of the Hillendale Homecare team and would like to consider joining us as a CNA or HHA, we invite you to get in touch with our CNA and HHA School through our online contact form, and discover the many benefits of making a real and lasting difference in the lives of those in our community!

Stroke Recovery Tips: How to Modify the Home Post-Stroke

Stroke Care Recovering from a stroke can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming, and the only thing a stroke survivor wants to do is return home to his or her everyday life. However, since more than two-thirds of stroke survivors have some form of disability (per the National Stroke Association), modifications to the home may be necessary to make life easier and safer for a client who is recovering from a stroke.

There are some simple steps that we can take to make the home safer and more accessible for a stroke survivor. Below is a checklist of items to use when assessing the home that can be used to make suggestions to the client:

Fall Prevention:

As many as 40% of stroke survivors experience serious falls within the year following their strokes. Check the following to prevent trips and falls in the home:

  • Hallways and pathways to the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen should all be clear so the person can move to and from these high traffic areas easily
  • Stair glides or platform lifts are recommended to help the client move safely up and down stairs
  • Loose rugs and throw rugs should be removed, or firmly secured to the floor
  • Grab bars should be installed in the shower or bathtub and beside the toilet
  • A tub bench or shower chair makes bathing easier and safer
  • Non-slip mats should be placed both inside and outside of the tub

Laundry Safety:

Laundry tasks require a great deal of lifting, reaching, ducking and pulling that can be challenging for those who have suffered a stroke. These changes can help:

  • Washer and dryer should be moved to an easily accessible location in the person’s home
  • Stackable, front-loading washing machines and dryers may be easier to utilize
  • Detergents and other laundry supplies should be stored in an easy-to-reach spot
  • An ironing board that folds down from the wall is a safer option than a free-standing one

Bedroom Safety:

The stroke survivor’s bedroom should be a place that he or she feels safe, relaxed and comfortable in. Consider these tips:

  • A light switch near the bed can help prevent falls from stumbling in the dark
  • Clothing and personal items should be reorganized to make them easier to access; for example, placing the most commonly used items in drawers that are easiest to reach
  • A commode chair near the bed makes bathroom needs easier to manage at nighttime

Clients who have survived a stroke can be offered a free in-home assessment to improve the safety of their home as they recover, and to reduce the risk of re-hospitalization. Check with your supervisor if you believe this would be beneficial for your client.