Under the umbrella of Heartbeat Victoria Council Inc. Board of Management several heart peer support groups operate in different areas across the state of Victoria. As a voluntary groups, the members provide peer support for cardiac patients and their families.
Each group provides a range of activities that support cardiac rehabilitation and promotes ongoing well being. Members of each peer support group have the opportunity to meet others and are encouraged to share experiences and personal knowledge, which in turn provides emotional, social and/or practical support to each other.
Various examples of the range of activities Heartbeat Victoria offers are:
- a dinner meeting with an education speaker
- regular coffee groups
- walking group
- telephone support
- a wide range of social activities
- support at cardiac rehabilitation programs
- regular events that raise awareness of heart health risk factors and management individually and in the local community
- website information
Local health services assist by providing professional speakers necessary to keep up to date with current heart health management.
Individual Heartbeat affiliates / branches raise funds through membership fees, local fundraising activities or functions. Other funds may be received through donations, attracting investment and using bequest, legacy or gift funds provided by other foundations, trusts or grant funding bodies.
Peer support is Heartbeat Victoria’s main focus.
Heartbeat peer support groups are linked to their local health services and provide funds for cardiac units, emergency care, cardiac rehabilitation, medical equipment and enhancement of delivery of care within these hospital and health services in Victoria.
Funds are also required for the continued appropriate administrative running costs of Heartbeat Victoria Council Inc. and individual Heartbeat peer support groups.
Membership is not exclusive. Obviously the most benefit seems to be for those who have been through cardiac surgery, have had a cardiac event or condition, their carers, family and friends.
These people completely understand what the patient is going through and are therefore able to provide the support that is required during this difficult time. However, we welcome any person interested in heart health to become a member of a Heartbeat peer support group.
Find your nearest Heartbeat Victoria branch here.
Heartbeat Victoria comprises a number of affiliates and branches. Each group is operated by a committee of volunteers. The annual membership fee varies from $5-$25 per member. A component of this is sent to Heartbeat Victoria Council Inc. to cover association membership and insurance.
Yes you are. Heartbeat Victoria Council Inc. takes out three appropriate insurance policies to cover volunteers, public liability and association indemnity.
Heartbeat members with informed consent may assist or cooperate with heart researches in appropriate research programs which foster the advancement of knowledge on the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, of heart disease.
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor any questions that are on your mind. Here is a list of questions commonly asked by heart patients
- On the day, what do I need to bring with me?
- How long will I have to stay in hospital?
- What kind of procedure am I going to have?
- My doctor said I have blockages in the vessels of my heart. What are my options for therapy?
- Is there anything special to be done
- How long will the operation take?
- Will the surgery be successful? What are the risks?
- How long will I be in intensive care?
- When can my family visit?
- Where will my family be able to park / how will they visit?
- Could I have done anything to prevent this?
- What are my risk factors for heart disease?
- When can I drive again?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What exercise will I be able to do afterwards?
- What diet should I be on?
- I’m a diabetic, how will this affect me?
- When will it be Ok to continue my relationship?
- What can I do when I go home?
- When will I be able to get back to regular working life?
- Will my children be affected by the same problem? What do I need to do to prevent this?