Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Every year it kills one in four Americans. Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year. Most heart disease patients can help lower their risk of future heart problems if they make changes to improve their health. Building a healthier future is a partnership between you and the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who can help you change your health habits.
Cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) is a professionally supervised program to help people recover from heart attacks, heart surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures such as stenting and angioplasty. Cardiac rehab programs provide education and counseling to help heart patients increase physical fitness, reduce cardiac symptoms, improve health and reduce the risk of future heart problems, including heart attack.
In recognition of National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, Shore Health paid tribute to all current and past participants. This year’s theme was “Healing Hearts and Healthy Lives.” Participants currently enrolled in the programs at Dorchester General Hospital and Memorial Hospital who are 88 years and older were recognized for their commitment to maintaining healthy lifestyle changes.
When asked what a difference the cardiac rehab program has made in their lives, Bill Ginder says, “When I first started rehab, I was somewhat apprehensive. I am now feeling younger, happy and eager. Rehab is like a family, all of the personnel can’t do enough for you towards your physical goals of health and happiness. Want to feel good, healthy and young? Go to rehab.”
Charlie Wright, 93 adds, “I don’t think I would be living if it weren’t for cardiac rehab.”
Many participants also credited the staff for their professionalism and dedication.
“Any successful organization depends on its personnel. The staff in cardiac rehab are compassionate, dedicated and are skillful,” says Paul Long. Paul Winn, age 90, started in cardiac rehab following open heart surgery in 2001 and has continued his progress, citing the program as one of the reasons for his good health.
Take it from the 10 patients who are enrolled in the program who are between the ages of 88 and 9, it is truly never too late to make a healthy lifestyle change!
To learn more about cardiac rehab programs at Shore Health, visit www.shorehealth.org.
In photo, above: Dorchester General Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab program participants show off their progress. These gentlemen, all World War II veterans, all shared their stories of how cardiac rehab has improved their health. Pictured left to right are Robert Cannon, James Carpenter, William Mossegian and Frank Wright. Back row is Charlie Wright.