Cardiac rehabilitation is an essential program for all heart patients, young and old, working and retired, fit and not active. Scientific research shows that rehab works!
What is cardiac rehab?
Cardiac rehab is an outpatient hospital program for heart patients. Outpatient simply means that you will attend from home and are not admitted to a hospital bed. It normally goes for 90 minutes once a week for 6 weeks. Your caregiver or partner can attend with you.
- RECOVERY – Patients do safe, simple exercises in a group supervised by nurses and exercise physiologists.
- EDUCATION – you will have weekly one-hour lessons in a classroom with other heart patients:
- About your heart condition
- Emotions, stress & sleep, quitting smoking
- Exercise and other activity
- Stories from other patients
- Support groups (e.g., Heart Support Australia)
Is cardiac rehab for me?
Cardiac rehab is for all heart patients:
- There will often be sessions during the day for retirees and might be morning or evening session for patients who work
- The exercises are different for each patient depending on what they can do – safe and simple is the key
- Your heart rate and blood pressure are checked each session for safety and there is always a nurse in case someone has a problem
- You will learn things that will help you in every-day life and to stay healthy
- Your family and partner will be more relaxed knowing that you are attending rehab and they will learn how they can help you
- For those who live alone it is a great chance to meet other patients and have a chat; there is usually a cuppa and a (healthy) biscuit or two
What stops patients going?
Some patients think there are barriers that stop them attending but these is help:
- If you don’t have a car or can’t afford public transport, see if you qualify for community transport
- Even patients in wheel-chairs or who are frail (e.g., use walking frames) can attend; the exercises are adapted for them
- You don’t need to be able to read or write; the lessons use lots of pictures and are spoken; you don’t have to take notes or do exams
- There are often rehab booklets in different languages
- It’s only 90 mins per week
- Women and men attend; its not just for one or the other
- Don’t worry if you are shy; everyone is like that after their surgery, the nurses will put you at ease