After a severe heart attack, 85-year-old Beverly went from shuffling along to dancing the two-step thanks to her enthusiastic participation in a cardiac rehab program. She’s also working out at a fitness center three days a week.
"I don't think I could have done this alone," she told Healthy You. "I'm grateful this rehab program exists. It has given me back my health."
Cardiac rehab is for people who suffering from heart failure or stable angina, who've had a heart attack, have received one or multiple stents, or have undergone bypass surgery, a valve replacement or repair, or a heart-lung transplant.
The program has proven to keep such people out of the hospital, extend longevity, and improve quality of life and mood.
So why did a study in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes find that only 24% of people on Medicare who qualify for and need cardiac rehab participate in it, even when it's free?
And why did only 29% of them complete the recommended course of 36 hour-long sessions?
Research shows the obstacles may be cardiac-event-related depression, lack of access to a facility, physical weakness, or lack of doctor insistence.
If you're a candidate for cardiac rehab, investigate Medicare-provided and hospital-based ride programs to get you there. Talk to your doc about the benefits for you. Then look for support groups, such as those through the American Heart Association Support Network.
You can rehab from, and even reverse, cardiac issues. Don't settle for less than a satisfying life. You can achieve better health and happiness.