People in recovery from
coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery may need
assistance from family members and friends in a variety of ways. You may help
your loved one for several weeks during recovery with a number of tasks,
including shopping, cleaning, and driving. Also, he or she may rely on
you for emotional support.
If you have a family member or other loved one who has just returned
home from the hospital after CABG surgery, you may want to know what you can do
to help. Your loved one may not be able to do normal activities and may
also need a great deal of encouragement and emotional support.
An enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) may have various causes. But it's usually the result of high blood pressure (hypertension) or coronary artery disease.
An enlarged heart may not pump blood effectively, resulting in congestive heart failure. Cardiomegaly may improve over time. But most people with an enlarged heart need lifelong treatment with medications.
Your loved one who has just had open-heart surgery may have
considerable physical limitations. So he or she may rely on others for
help with relatively simple but important tasks. You and your friends and
family may choose to assume a large role in managing his or her day-to-day
life. You can help by:
Shopping for and preparing food. Many people
recovering from surgery cannot leave their homes on their own to shop for food.
The kinds of foods needed will be low-fat, low-salt, and low-cholesterol.
Cleaning. Simple cleaning tasks can be too physically demanding
during recovery. But a clean house is crucial to both mood and health (to
avoid infections). So you can consider helping to clean house
regularly or hiring a maid service.
Driving. Your loved one will
not be able to drive for 4 to 6 weeks after CABG surgery. It is important that
his or her chest bone heals properly, and sudden arm movements or an accident
while driving could cause serious injury. But your loved one will need to
go to frequent doctor appointments during recovery. You may need to drive him
or her to these follow-up appointments as well as to any other
Medicines. Your loved one will probably need to take
several medicines after CABG surgery. You could help him or her by organizing
the medicines. You can get a special pillbox (with one or more compartments
for each day of the week) or mark a calendar as a memory aid.