My story: Prepare for the unexpected

February was American Heart Month – an occasion that forced US talk show host Leeza Gibbons to revisit a painful episode in her own life. Now, she encourages everyone to learn how they can care for the older friends and relatives in their life.

On average, one American dies due to cardiovascular disease every 40 seconds. That’s 2,160 deaths a day. Add to that the fact that nearly half of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity or an unhealthy diet, and it adds up to tens of thousands of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks. Every one of them changes the world of not only the patients that survive but their friends, families and colleagues.  
My experience with heart disease was frightening, but I can tell you that technology saved my dad’s life. 

In the summer of 2015, my dad had a heart attack in his own home. It came out of nowhere, and he fell down hard on the floor. Like a lot of children in the US, I now live thousands of miles away from my parents and was unable to come to my dad’s aid in a moment’s notice. That’s tough to realize, but I was also confident my dad would receive immediate and outstanding care.

 

How could I be so sure?

 

Because he was wearing his Philips Lifeline. He’s worn a Philips Lifeline for years, and there have been no incidents at all, but it certainly has helped my family feel reassured that we took the proper steps to make certain my dad can live his best life safer. And when he did have a heart attack, we knew for sure it was the right decision. As soon as he fell, he pushed the emergency response button and within seconds, the Philips Lifeline call center dispatched the medical team to his house and gave him the best chance for surviving this life-threatening event. Without such a device, my dad might not be here today.

 

His experience proves how crucial it is to equip your loved ones with the right tools in case of an emergency, where every second counts. Advancements in care technologies are helping provide seniors the ability to remain as independent as possible, while simultaneously offering their caregivers peace of mind. 

I want to encourage everyone to use this time to prepare for the unexpected and learn about the variety of ways to care for yourselfand the seniors in your life. 

Talk with your loved ones who may be at risk of cardiac complications about prevention and precaution. This could be committing to a heart-healthy diet, going on daily walks together, or getting a personal emergency response system.

 

It’s time everyone makes a plan and takes charge of their heart health.

The author

Leeza Gibbons

Leeza Gibbons

 

Emmy Award winner Leeza Gibbons is one of the most well‐known pop‐culture icons on the air. In addition to her impressive background in entertainment and news media, Leeza is an instrumental advocate for healthcare, wellness, and caregiving. She is also a wife, mother, businesswoman, EMMY award winner, New York Times best-selling author & the 2015 winner of Celebrity Apprentice.

About

Innovation Matters delivers news, opinions and features about healthcare, and is focused on the professionals who work within the industry, as well as Philips as a cutting-edge health technology organization. From interviews with industry giants to how-to guides and features powered by Philips data, our goal is to deliver interesting, educational and entertaining content to empower and inspire all those who work in healthcare or related industries. 


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