Congestive Heart Failure: Home Care Can Help
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is more common than you might think, with five million Americans currently under treatment for the condition. But more and more CHF patients and family caregivers are discovering their own important role in managing CHF—and home care can help the patient remain safe and healthy, without moving to a care facility.
The Heart Failure Society of America calls heart failure "the silent epidemic," because many people have the condition and don't know it. Heart failure occurs when the heart is weakened and cannot pump enough blood for the body's needs. This results in a backup of fluid throughout the body. Heart failure can be caused by previous damage to the heart muscle or valves, by high blood pressure, by infection, or by a combination of causes.
The effects of congestive heart failure can make it harder to live independently. But home care services provide an extra measure of safety and peace of mind for patient and loved ones alike.
Symptoms of CHF include shortness of breath; swelling of feet, ankles and abdomen; fatigue; coughing and raspy breathing; and confusion.
Occasionally CHF can be cured, if the condition is caused by an underlying heart defect that can be corrected with surgery. However, most cases cannot be cured. But medical treatment and lifestyle changes can improve symptoms and prevent further loss of heart function.
Medical treatments include surgery, medications, supplemental oxygen, and careful management of underlying conditions.
Lifestyle choices and following the healthcare provider's instructions can prevent worsening of the condition. For example, it's important to avoid smoking, excess cholesterol, obesity, alcohol abuse, inactivity, excess fluid intake and stress.
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|Click here to download and print a checklist you can use if you or a loved one is living with CHF! |
Home Care Can Help
Most CHF patients prefer to live at home rather than in a nursing home or other care facility. But patients and their loved ones know that living at home with the condition presents a special set of challenges. Assuring that the right care plan is followed is important. And sometimes taking care of home and personal needs can be taxing. Home care can help! A qualified caregiver can:
- Supervise overall care on a regular basis;
- Provide assistance with the activities of daily living, such as meal preparation, light housekeeping and laundry;
- Do errands such as grocery shopping; and,
- Assist with personal care.
For loved ones, knowing a qualified caregiver is with their family member when they themselves can't be is a great peace of mind plus! Family are reassured that their senior relative is being well cared for and that help is at hand while they are at work or during other activities.
Visit the Right at Home website to learn more about how home care can help if your loved one has CHF or another type of heart disease.
Right at Home is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned, franchised providers of in-home care and assistance services.