Making the most of cardiac rehab with Louise Bache

Published On: 13 July 2022Categories: Blog, News

We recently met with Louise Bache, CEO of Heartbeat, a cardiac rehabilitation centre in the North-West. We asked Louise to write a piece for our community about the importance of good cardiac rehab and the lasting impact it can have on cardiac patients.

Here is what she said:

Heartbeat is a well-established and experienced charity bringing support to many people throughout the North-West for over 40 years. Heartbeat understands the impact of cardiac, vascular, and pulmonary disease and the effect this has on individuals and their families. We want to see class members become the best they can be no matter what their limitations. Heartbeat believes that the physical and mental development of those with long-term conditions, and who have recently undergone treatment, is essential. With our support and a mindset of wellness, what they learn at Heartbeat can become a lifelong commitment.

Heartbeat wants to support people to live full, independent lives and be physically and mentally capable of facing the challenges of rehab.

Good cardiac rehab is holistic, with a strong focus on physical fitness as well as developing good nutritional habits and addressing psychological difficulties. We believe that in doing so, you can help to heal and support the whole person.

Cardiac rehab will help you with:

  • understanding your condition.

  • recovering from your surgery, procedure or heart attack.

  • making changes to your lifestyle that will help improve your heart health.

  • reducing the risk of further heart problems.

  • the psychological aspects of living with a heart condition.

There are four phases of Cardiac Rehab:

  • Phase 1. In-hospital patient period

  • Phase 2. Post-discharge, pre-exercise period

  • Phase 3. Exercise and education programme 6 to 8 weeks

  • Phase 4. Maintenance, long-term support

Heartbeat takes direct referrals from GPs and also hospital teams, we can accept referrals from specialist groups, and we have self-referral forms that can be completed if a person feels the need for our services.

Once Heartbeat receives a referral form, they will triage the patient and invite them to attend a session with our physiologists. During this session, they will complete an exercise treadmill test or walk test, depending on their capabilities. They will also have an ECG, blood pressure check and complete a HAD score.

The expectation is that class members attend two classes per week to give them the optimum chance of improving their health and wellbeing. Their sessions with the physiologists will be reviewed at nine months, and that class member will continue to work with our staff and our community of patients.”

Gavin started his Cardiac Rehab with Heartbeat, and has seen significant improvements in his physical and mental health, he said:

“If I was asked to sum up my thoughts about Heartbeat in a single word it would be … ‘Safe’ – because that’s the way they have made me feel since that first tentative visit.

Their professionalism, friendship and understanding, throughout what has been a traumatic experience, have given me a positive outlook and one I can build upon for a brighter future. They have armed me with a better understanding of healthy living and, in the company of like-minded individuals, my twice-weekly visits to their gym ensure that the repairs undertaken by those wonderful people last April is maintained.

It now takes me a bit longer to get out of breath – (an hour in the Heartbeat gym normally does it) – but recovery time is much quicker and you can’t buy the glow you feel stepping outside afterwards. Ben Nevis beckons once more!

What started off as part of my recovery but has since become a vital part of my day-to-day. So ‘Thank you’ Heartbeat. Long may we both continue.”

To find out more about Heartbeat visit their website.

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