Finding out that your older family member is suffering from heart failure can be disturbing. The name of the condition implies the heart has stopped working altogether. Fortunately, that’s not entirely true. When a person has heart failure, it means their heart doesn’t pump as effectively as it should. The condition can be caused by underlying diseases, like high blood pressure or narrowing of the arteries, that leave the heart weak or stiff. Although heart failure is serious, there are still things your aging relative can do to manage the condition at home and stay healthier for longer. Below are some tips to help them live better with heart failure.
Tell the Doctor About New or Changing Symptoms
It’s important to keep an eye on the symptoms of heart failure and report changes to the doctor. Some things to look for are:
- Weight Gain: Seniors should weight themselves every day and report weight gain to the doctor. The doctor can tell them how much of a gain warrants a call to the doctor. A rapid weight gain can indicate the body is retaining more fluids because or worsening heart failure.
- Short of Breath: If the older adult feels short of breath while they are sitting, call the doctor.
- Swelling: Watch for swelling in the legs and ankles.
- Abdominal Changes: Look for swelling or pain in the abdomen.
- Fatigue: If fatigue seems worse or if the older adult is having trouble sleeping, such as waking short of breath or needing more pillows, it may be related to heart failure.
The doctor should be notified of changes in symptoms and new symptoms right away. Letting things go too long can make it harder to treat the disease and may result in a hospital stay.
Home care providers can watch for new and changing symptoms and report them to family caregivers who can take the proper actions to get the senior the treatment they need.
Continue Being Physically Active
Having heart failure isn’t an excuse to stop exercising. In fact, it’s a reason to keep living an active life. Regular exercise will help improve heart health and enable the senior to continue doing the things they enjoy.
Home care providers can encourage the older adult to be as active as possible, starting out slow with short walks or a few minutes of dancing, then working up to longer times.
Eat Less Salt
Eating too much salt leads to water retention, which makes the heart work harder. Try to limit your aging relative’s sodium intake to a maximum of 1,500 mg per day.
Home care providers can cook healthy meals without using a lot of salt. Instead, they can flavor foods with herbs and spices.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Katy, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week