Supporting someone with AFib
There are many aspects of life that can allow you to support a family member or friend with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). You may find it challenging at first; especially if your loved one has experienced disability due to a stroke.
Allow yourself some time to adjust to this big change. Remember, you are not alone—it may be helpful to join a local support group where you can share your experiences with other caregivers.
Keep a file (or suggest they do) with details of the doctors’ emergency phone numbers and opening hours, as well as the details for the clinics or local hospitals you attend. A helpful reminder is to keep information about AFib and appointments in more than one place, in case of an emergency.
Looking after someone with AFib
Everyone’s experience with AFib is different, so if you’re helping someone with the condition, then it helps to know how it is for them.
For some people with AFib, certain things can trigger an “episode”. These triggers vary: for some people it’s when they exert themselves, drink too much alcohol or feel anxious. If so, try to reduce possible “trigger” situations.
During an AFib episode
If someone has had a confirmed diagnosis of AFib, it is important to ask their doctor what you should do if they experience an AFib episode.
How to prepare for an emergency
To put your mind at rest, find out about your nearest emergency room and ask their doctor under what circumstances you should take the person you care for; as well as have your important contacts programmed so that they’re easily accessible on your mobile. This includes their doctor, next of kin, emergency services, etc. It’s a good idea for the person with AFib to carry an emergency card with them with contact numbers and details of their conditions along with a list of the medications they’re taking.
Making sure that you make time to talk to others is vital. It’s important to stay connected with your circle of friends and family. It is also good to realize that there are others out there who are sharing your experience.