CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH & REHABILITATION

WHAT IS CARDIAC REHABILITATION?

Cardiovascular Health & Rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that helps improve the health and well-being of people who have or are at risk with heart problems.

Cardiovascular Health & Rehabilitation programs include physical activity/exercise, education on healthy living/diet, and possibly counselling to reduce stress and help & assist a return to an active life.

Phase IV and beyond is for those who have successfully completed Phase III rehabilitation at the Hospital or community setting or for those who are referred by their GP/Health Professional with heart conditions. It offers an opportunity to increase levels of physical activity, modify lifestyle behaviours, improve wellbeing and halt the progression of coronary heart disease (CHD).

CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH & REHABILITATION

The timescale for Cardiovascular Health & Rehabilitation can usefully be divided into four phases:

The first part of the journey of the rehabilitation programme is when a patient stays in hospital following a cardiac event. Length: Approximately 5 – 14 days.

The next period is when the patient is discharged from hospital and returns home. They are under the care of a GP and during this time, they may be contacted by a local (CHD) Specialist Practice Nurse who will provide general health advice. Length: Approximately 2 – 6 weeks.

Phase III - A patient is invited back the hospital to begin the exercise rehabilitation which will also include health educational sessions. Phase III rehabilitation classes involve:

  • Safe incremental progression of physical activity, under medical supervision

  • Health education

  • Stress management

  • Relaxation

Length: Once a week for approximately 8 – 12 weeks.

Phase IV - Patients graduating from Phase III exercise classes are referred on to local Phase IV exercise classes in the community to continue improving their fitness levels.

Phase IV sessions will include: either or both

Gym based sessions
Studio based circuit sessions
Length: Once/twice a week for approximately 8- 12 weeks

All instructors dealing with cardiac referrals will be qualified Level 4 BACR (British Association Cardiac Rehabilitation) exercise instructors.

WHO IS CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH & REHABILITATION PHASE IV & BEYOND FOR?

  • Stable Angina

  • Post (MI)Heart Attack

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)

  • Stent fitted

  • Post Heart Transplant

  • Pacemaker fitted

  • Implanted Cardioverter Defibrilator

  • CHD history

  • Controlled Arrhythmia’s

  • Post Valve Replacement

  • Stable Chronic Heart Failure

THE REFERRAL PROCESS

HOSPITAL REFERRAL
Anybody who attends a Phase III programme at the hospital will have to the opportunity to be referred onto a community based Phase IV programme.

GP REFERRAL
Anybody with a CHD history more than 6 months ago who wishes to attend a Phase IV programme, will have to be referred via their GP providing there are no recent events.

WHAT DO THE SESSIONS INVOLVE?

The gym session will involve alternating between treadmills, bikes etc and weight exercises.

The circuit based session will involve rotation around number of exercise stations.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE COURSE?

The completion of the programme is not an end-point but the beginning of a lifestyle change incorporating regular physical activity to make positive health benefits. 
The referral team will discuss options that are available.

WHY BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE?

There is a wealth of evidence to support the notion that physical activity plays a key role in improving people's health and well-being.

Physical activity provides a range of health benefits at any age. The good news is activity doesn't have to be vigorous - moderate activity, such as brisk walking, is great for your health!

Physical activity can:

  • Improve psychological well-being and mood, and thus improve mental health

  • Improve quality of life

There are also a number of practical gains to be made from participating in physical activity. It can help you:

  • Sleep better

  • Feel more energetic

  • Stay independent

  • Improve co-ordination and flexibility, hence reducing the risk of falls

  • Feel good about yourself

  • Maintain independence

  • Increase socialisation

To add more physical activity to your daily life try:

  • Taking a brisk walk around the block with family, friends or co-workers

  • Raking leaves

  • Walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift when it is safe to do so

  • Mowing the lawn

  • Taking an activity break at work or home. Get up and stretch or walk around

  • Parking your car further away from entrances of shops, cinema, or your home and walk the extra distance when it is safe to do so

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