Taking Care of Your Heart


According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular, or heart disease refers to a variety of conditions that can negatively affect a person’s heart health, such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart defects. Living with heart disease or recovering from cardiac trauma, such as a heart attack, does not need to limit your independence or active lifestyle. However, regardless of if you are recovering at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) or home, it is important to determine the steps you should take to enhance your recovery and reduce rehospitalization.

At a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Post-Acute Center, your caregivers will work with you to develop a personalized rehabilitation program tailored to your unique cardiac health needs. This may include a range of physical and occupational therapy, specialized dietary requirements, and daily activities such as exercise, stress management, and patient education.

It is also important to consider your risk factors for heart disease to achieve optimal recovery and prevent additional cardiac trauma. Factors that may increase your risk for heart disease include consuming an unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. The American Heart Association recommends following these healthy heart steps to help manage your heart disease and maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • Increase daily physical exercise
  • Incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet
  • Limit or eliminate smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Manage stress levels with counseling or meditation

Exercise & Cardiac Rehabilitation

One of the most important things you can do to manage your heart disease is to include exercise during and after your post-hospital recovery. The American Heart Association recommends everyone should include at least 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise, 5 times a week to prevent and manage heart disease, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. If you are recovering at a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Post-Acute Center, your team of highly skilled caregivers will work with you to develop an exercise and cardiac rehabilitation plan specifically tailored to your individual needs and abilities. We consider each patient’s unique recovery needs and help them build an exercise plan that works for them during their rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation at Prestige Care may include a combination of exercises, physical therapy, customized diet, and activities to help manage stress.

Reduce Stress

An unexpected cardiac event can be caused by high blood pressure which may be a result of high stress levels. You or your loved one may also be feeling the additional stress of hospitalization and a sense of uncertainty about your transition to home. Fortunately, transitioning to a skilled nursing or post-acute care center is essential to your cardiac recovery and can help you reduce and manage your stress to improve your heart health. At Prestige Care, we are committed to providing every person with continued support throughout the healing process. Our clinical teams work with each cardiac patient to help manage stress levels through daily exercise, individual therapy techniques, and education programs. Managing stress is critical to preventing additional cardiac trauma and can improve your overall heart health throughout your recovery.

Heart Healthy Food

Maintaining a healthy diet can reduce the risk of hospital readmission and can help prevent heart disease and hypertension, or high blood pressure. The food a person consumes can play a large role in their overall heart health, specifically affecting the arteries. This is why it is important to introduce a heart healthy diet during and after your recovery to aid in the overall management of your heart health. At Prestige Care, our registered dietitians and dietary teams work with each patient to develop a diet plan that supports their individual recovery. Cardiac patients who are receiving a proper heart healthy diet coupled with their routine rehabilitation program may be less susceptible to hospital readmission. The American Heart Association recommends a heart healthy nutritional plan that includes:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy sources of protein including nuts, seafood, low-fat dairy
  • Limited processed food
  • Reduced salt intake
  • Lean and unprocessed meat

Utilize your support team

During your cardiac recovery at a Prestige Skilled Nursing and Post-Acute Care Center, you will find a compassionate team of caregivers that are dedicated to supporting you throughout your entire rehabilitation journey. Your family is also encouraged to participate in your cardiac care as much as possible to help ensure they are able to provide ongoing support as you transition to home. Feeling a range of emotions throughout your recovery is normal, however turning to your team of caregivers and family for support can make a great impact on your health. You do not have to go through your rehabilitation journey alone.

Manage blood pressure

Did you know high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend regularly monitoring your blood pressure with support from your health care team to help lower your risk for heart disease. At Prestige Care, our skilled nursing team works diligently with each cardiac patient to help them manage their blood pressure to reduce potential rehospitalization. This may include managing medications, assisting with daily exercises, or introducing a customized diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  

At Prestige Care, we know the importance of a healthy heart and our highly skilled clinical teams are dedicated to supporting each cardiac patient throughout their entire recovery journey. Our goal is to successfully transition patients from hospital to home with the tools and resources necessary to manage and maintain a healthy heart. Contact the center closest to you or your loved one to find out more about their Cardiac Rehabilitation services.