Work with health professionals to set goals and priorities for making lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, losing weight or eating healthier foods.
For the first few weeks, it may good to have someone close by to support and help you.
If you live alone, someone may need to stay with you during this time, depending on how serious your health condition is. If you don’t have family or friends who can be with you, you can get help from a home care agency.
If you need extra community services, such as Meals on Wheels, ask your doctor or cardiac rehabilitation team for information.
There are six steps to recovering from a heart attack. You need to know what happened, and the things you need to do to minimise the chance of having another one.
Watch the six videos to help you as you recover.
You will need lots of rest when you first get home, but try to get back into a normal routine as soon as possible, including:
To start with, you should be able to:
You may feel weak at first, but this isn’t usually serious. It is normally because you didn’t use your muscles very much when in hospital.
Talk with your doctor about medicines. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You need to understand the benefits, how and when to take your medication, and what the side effects might be.
Take your medicines exactly as directed. Try not to miss a dose. Don’t stop taking them just because you feel better.
See your doctor as soon as you can after leaving hospital. You will manage your health better with regular check-ups.
Take your medicines list or discharge information, and any test results. These tell your doctor about your medicines and doses. Your doctor may already have this information from the hospital.
If you had surgery or a procedure, you need to look after your wounds so that they heal well. Follow the doctor’s or hospital's instructions. See your doctor if you notice signs of infection (e.g. increased soreness, oozing, bleeding, a bad smell or a high temperature).
To help your wounds heal:
Cardiac rehabilitation will help you to get back on track.
It includes important information, social support and a physical activity program. It will also help you to make lifestyle changes and reduce your risk of more heart problems.
Having a plan can make all the difference. Select one of these action plans and make a start: