A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) helps men and women with end-stage heart failure to live as normal a life as possible. Nonetheless, there are a number of challenges that come with living with an LVAD.
If you’re caring for someone who has an LVAD, there are a few things you should know so that both you and your loved one are in good hands.
Set Up a Routine
Living with an LVAD represents a new normal for both the patient and the caregiver. Creating a daily routine can help streamline the process when it comes to medications, changing driveline dressings and other routine tasks. Making time for physical activity is also an important consideration.
Ask Questions and Take Notes
There’s no such thing as a stupid question, especially when it comes to caring for someone living with an LVAD. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of your loved one’s doctors and nurses, both during appointments or by calling their office.
Self-Care and Support
Caring for someone who’s living with an LVAD can be both a rewarding and challenging task. As a caregiver, your loved one relies upon you, which is why you need to be as healthy as possible in order to continue offering care. It’s important that you draw strength and support from your network of friends and family so that you know you’re not alone. Practicing good self-care is also vital to your wellbeing, which means eating well, getting proper rest and regular exercise. An occasional massage or other indulgence could also be a nice and well-deserved treat.