What is Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehabilitation, commonly called cardiac rehab, is an individually tailored program for strengthening the heart and improving health following a cardiac event, such as a heart attack or a surgery to treat heart disease. Cardiac rehab is an important part of recovery since research shows it decreases the risk of dying from heart disease. It also lowers the chances of having heart problems in the future.

Who Needs Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab can be beneficial to anyone who has a heart-related health problem. Some conditions that suggest the need for cardiac rehab are:

  • Heart attack.
  • Heart failure.
  • Angina.
  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Angioplasty and stents.
  • Cardiomyopathy.
  • Bypass surgery.
  • Heart transplant.
  • Valve repair or replacement.
  • Pulmonary hypertension.

Cardiac rehab is not only for younger people with heart problems. It is helpful for people of any age, even those who are quite elderly. It can increase the amount of time a person has left and improve their quality of life.

What Happens in Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab is supervised by a healthcare team. It has three components:

  • Exercise: The health care team teaches the older adult about exercises that improve heart health. They may have the patient participate in activities like walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. They will also provide advice for home-based exercise that will help with continuing to improve health and maintain the gains they’ve made.
  • Education: The team will teach the senior about ways to reduce their risk for further heart problems, such as quitting smoking and making dietary changes.
  • Counseling: Stress is harmful to the heart, but it can be hard not to feel stressed after a life-changing event like a heart attack. The counseling portion of cardiac rehab is aimed at patients recognizing what is causing them stress and educating them about ways to manage it.

The initial stage of cardiac rehab typically lasts for about three months. However, the time will ultimately depend on the older adult’s needs and progress. Afterward, following the lifestyle changes recommended by the healthcare team is a life-long process. Your aging relative will need to continue to exercise and eat well to keep their heart healthy and strong.

Elderly care providers can assist the senior during cardiac rehab and after the initial stages end. An elderly care provider can drive them to their rehab appointments and back home. Elderly care providers can also help with the dietary changes needed by cooking for the older adult. And, elderly care providers can encourage and assist seniors to continue with lifestyle changes after their formal rehab program ends.


If you are considering elderly care in Pickerington, OH for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Lantern West Health today at 614-594-7474.