Heart Attack: Back at Home

Woman getting dishes from cupboard with younger woman helping.

Once you’re home, your goal for the first week or so is to take it easy. Then, slowly return to regular activities. It may take about 4 to 8 weeks to get back to your normal routine. To ease the transition, allow yourself to rely on family and friends for support, and be easy on yourself.

Let friends and family support you

Don’t try to do it all alone. Ask family or friends for help. They may be glad to do something to show their concern. For instance:

  • Let others help with chores, such as washing dishes, preparing meals, or buying groceries.

  • Ask a family member or friend to join you in relaxing activities, such as playing games or watching movies.

  • Invite a family member or friend on your appointments.

Be easy on yourself

As you begin your recovery, don’t push yourself too hard. Remember, you’re healing physically and emotionally. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Avoid activities that may cause chest pain or shortness of breath.

  • Avoid exertion, excitement, and exposure to cold after a heavy meal.

  • If you’re feeling low, don’t beat yourself up. Take your recovery one day at a time and don’t give in to these feelings by staying in bed. Be sure to get up and get dressed each morning.

  • Partake in activities that are easy but get you slowly back into the routine.

  • Talk to someone every day.

For family and friends

Help your loved one ease into recovery:

  • Offer to drive your loved one to medical appointments.

  • Help your loved one remember to take medicines.

  • Encourage your loved one to slowly be more independent.

  • Spend time relaxing with your loved one. You don’t have to just sit around, try going for a walk.

  • Spend time discussing other matters outside of health,