Resources for Caregivers
If you are a caregiver to someone with heart disease or who is recovering from a heart attack or stroke, you will need support too. Here are some resources that can help.
Connect With Other Caregivers
No one knows what you are faced with every day quite like another caregiver. Support groups are a great way to:
- meet other caregivers
- manage stress
- trade advice and tips for coping and staying positive
Many hospitals and medical centers offer counseling services for patients and families and can also refer you to a local support group. These days, many groups meet online—creating online communities that are even accessible on a smartphone.
Know the Value of the Whole Health Care Team
You are probably used to talking with your loved one’s cardiologist, nurse or primary care doctor, but you should consider reaching out to other members of their heart care team too. Social workers, dietitians, psychologists and patient navigators can offer valuable support and are available to patients and their families in many hospitals and medical centers.
Social workers can provide counseling and will also help link you with community and national organizations that may be able to offer additional support. Patient navigators advocate for you and your loved one. They can help answer questions and guide you through the treatment process, helping to ease the burden of caring for someone with cardiovascular disease. Ask you doctor’s office, local hospital or medical center if they have a patient navigator or advocate on staff.
Get Financial Help or Advice
Unfortunately, financial concerns often come with caring for someone with heart disease. Even if the person has good health coverage, out of pocket expenses for doctor’s appointments, procedures and tests and medications can quickly add up. There are prescription assistance programs available and social workers and patient navigators can sometimes help.