Your heart is in an incredibly vulnerable state if you’ve suffered a heart attack or are fighting heart failure, and cardiac rehabilitation could be an important part of your recovery.
Unfortunately, not enough older folks appear to be taking advantage of this life-saving therapy.
Fewer than one in 10 eligible Medicare beneficiaries get recommended heart failure rehab treatments, the American Heart Association recently noted.
“Based on the current data, more than 90% of people with heart failure will not receive a treatment that could improve their health and survival,” Dr. Vinay Guduguntla, a third-year internal medicine resident at the University of California, San Francisco shares.
What is cardiac rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive supervised program that includes:
- Regular physical activity.
- Education about eating healthy, taking medicine as prescribed, and dropping bad habits like smoking.
- Counseling to help relieve stress and improve mental health.
It’s for anyone recovering from a heart attack or heart failure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You also might benefit from cardiac rehab if you’ve had a heart problem that required surgery or medical care.
A team of people could eventually become involved in your cardiac rehab, including doctors, nurses, exercise and nutrition specialists, physical therapists and counselors.
Cardiac rehab usually lasts about three months, but can range anywhere from two to eight months, the CDC says.
How does cardiac rehabilitation help?
Studies have found that cardiac rehabilitation decreases the chance that you will