For family and friends

If one of your loved ones has had a heart attack then you can play an important role in their recovery.

A heart attack is a scary, life-changing event so it’s common for someone who has had one to feel overwhelmed. Having a trusted person with them to listen to doctors and nurses can make all the difference.


Leaving the hospital after A heart attack

It’s common to feel a bit overwhelmed yourself when your family member or friend leaves the hospital. They will have a lot of instructions and information as part of their treatment plan. You may be able to help them with such things as grocery shopping for the foods that were recommended to them, house work and making sure they have collected the medicines they were prescribed in hospital.

Helping at home

Now that your family member or friend is back home, it’s time to start figuring out what comes next. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Make follow-up appointments. You may need to help your family member or friend get to appointments, at least until they feel stronger and more independent.
  • Learn as much as you can about their treatment after a heart attack. The more you understand, the more help you can be.
  • Follow the doctor’s advice about lifestyle changes. Support your family member or friend in eating healthy foods, stopping smoking, and becoming more active if those are the things they have been advised to do.
  • Set up a medicine routine. Come up with helpful ways for them to manage (or remember to take) their medicines.

Steps to take long term

It’s important to help your family member or friend stay on track with their medicines and healthy lifestyle changes. Here are a few things you can do over time to help:

  • Provide encouragement. It’s important for them to stay on track with their medicines and lifestyle changes.
  • Take care of yourself. Your health matters too. Try to pace yourself.
  • Be their rock. Sticking with the plan may not be easy but the risk of another heart attack is still very real. Make sure you’re there to help.