A diagnosis can come out of the blue and change someone’s situation overnight. You might be worried how long the person you care for has to live, or worried about whether they can carry on working or driving.
While it can feel like things are up in the air, there is a lot that the person you can do to be in control of their condition. With the right lifestyle changes, they can improve their outlook. The good news is that now they are getting support and treatment from health professionals, which will make a huge difference.
Fear or anxiety
It’s normal to be fearful of the future and worried about the prospect of the person you care for having heart attack or stroke in the future. You might be constantly “on edge” and nervous at the slightest sign that something is wrong. This can wear you down over time.
The best you can do is learn what you can about heart attack and stroke so you know exactly what to do if something goes wrong. It can also help to talk with others about your fears. Saying our fears out loud can get them off our chest and make them feel more manageable.
Grief or a sense of loss
You might feel a sense of loss from knowing things won’t be quite the same, and you won’t be able to do the same things together as you did before. It can also be hard if the person you care for was the one who traditionally provided support.
Dealing with any significant transition is always going to be hard and it’s natural to go through a stage of grief. It can help to know that things will get better. Over time, you will adjust to the way things are, and work out new ways of spending time together.
For more guidance on dealing with diagnosis, click here.
Want to now more about heart disease?
If you’re completely new to heart disease, read our pages on what heart disease is, how it is diagnosed, and frequently asked questions.
Want to understand their treatment?
We’ve got a page explaining medication and who’s who in their healthcare team. We also have guidance on supporting someone who’s going into hospital for surgery.
Not sure how to help?
We have guidance on helping someone change their diet, get more active, and stop smoking. We also have advice on what to do if the person you care for is refusing to change their lifestyle.
Worried you can’t do it alone?
Take a look at our section on finding further support. It has tips on working out what kind of day to day help someone needs, information on where else you can get this help, and guidance on sharing your role with friends and family. Finally, you might want to look into what support you can get yourself as a carer.
There is lots of support out there for you and the person you care for. You can do this.
Along your journey, we can support you by answering any questions you might have and helping you access the right support. With online information, phone support, and our local expertise, our aim is to make it easier to get support in a system that can feel fragmented and hard to navigate. If this is the kind of support you might be interested in, join us as a member of HERE.