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Heart disease is not a disability. People after a severe heart attack can be just as active as before. Leaving your job prematurely can do more harm than good, so it's worth considering if you really can't work.

In Poland, every year, several thousand statements are issued on the inability toworkdue tocardiovascular diseases . 64% of these decisions concern a group of people between 50 and 59 years of age. There is a widespread belief that people at this age are less active and less productive at work. 59% of Poles believe that peopleafter a heart attackshould give up their professional activity completely or take at least a one-year break before returning to work.

As many as 81% of Poles consider those who have had a heart attack as people requiring special treatment in the workplace. Unfortunately, there is still a stereotype that they cannot live actively and perform their professional duties. Both employers and patients themselves believe that an employee after a cardiac incident requires additional care, unique privileges and special treatment. It happens that employees completely give up their professional activity after a long hospitalization. Meanwhile, returning to the current duties, including professional ones, is one of the elements of effective rehabilitation.

Try to live a normal life after a heart attack

- Even a patient who has suffered a serious illness, such as a myocardial infarction, does not have to give up normal, everyday functioning. It is enough for him to modify his lifestyle in accordance with the doctor's recommendations and use appropriate medications - says Prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Gaciong, expert of the "Heart Again" program. If you or your loved ones are treated for cardiovascular problems or have had a heart attack, remember that you can still live actively and pursue your professional life. There are many forms of employment that enable the sick to perform their duties.

Rules for returning to work after heart attack

  • Talk to your employer

Diseases of the circulatory system should not exclude from social and professional life, they do not mean disability. However, if you are not fully fit and have an idea to modify your working conditions or hours, don't be afraid to talk to your boss about it. As an experienced, well-trained specialistyou are very valuable to the employer.

  • Establish a form of work that is convenient for you

If the daily commuting to your current workplace is burdensome for you, you can use alternative forms of employment - teleworking, freelancing, self-employment, etc. Working in a flexible task system will allow you to independently set the schedule and priorities for your work. You will be able to adjust its amount to your abilities.

  • Assess the benefits of professional activity

If you do not work in a profession involving increased physical effort or stress, you can cope with your daily duties, regardless of your he alth condition. Believe in yourself. Professional work will provide you with financial stability and psychological comfort. Try to harmonize your work and family life - it will give you strength and motivate you to fight the disease.

Don't stay at home after a heart attack

- Middle-aged and elderly people diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease often consider it almost a disability. Meanwhile, many patients, even after a severe cardiac event, e.g. after a heart attack, may be as active as before, says Prof. dr hab. med. Zbigniew Gaciong, expert of the "Heart Again" program. - It is very important for patients to be aware that effective therapy and rehabilitation also require an appropriate mental attitude on their part - he adds. Middle-aged people with a cardiovascular incident associated with long-term hospitalization often make decisions to withdraw from social and professional life. However, premature and ill-considered resignation from work does more harm than good - both for the sick and for their employers. The departure from work of a person who has problems with the cardiovascular system is unfavorable for both the employer and the employee. In the face of rising costs of employment and training of new employees, adapting the workplace to the needs of existing employees with cardiovascular diseases is simply cheaper for the employer. On the other hand, an employee quits his professional activity, and thus the possibility of a normal life and continuing his professional career, says Witold Polkowski, an expert of the "Heart Again" program from the Confederation of Polish Employers.

What can and should an employee do after a heart attack with cardiovascular disease?

  • Choose the type of work that will suit his physical abilities.
  • Negotiate working conditions with the company's management that will allow you to return toprevious duties, e.g. after hospitalization.
  • To actively seek training and professional development opportunities, e.g. in employment offices, in the press.
  • Not to give up therapy and rehabilitation. Regularly consult a doctor in order to rule out undesirable effects of the effort taken.

What can the employer of a person after a heart attack?

  • Facilitate practicing sports and other forms of physical activity through the use of a social package.
  • Make it possible to work at convenient hours, using one of the flexible working time systems, e.g. task time.
  • Provide adequate breaks at work so that the employee has time for medical consultations or medical treatments.
  • Organize stress management courses. Managing stress can reduce the risk of disease complications, and thus increase the employee's productivity at work.
  • Guarantee appropriate preventive medical examinations ensuring he alth care.

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