CHF, which stands for Congestive Heart Failure, is a condition sometimes taking years to develop, where the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body causing fluid to build up in places that it shouldn’t, such as the lungs, feet, ankles, and legs. It can affect one or both sides of the heart, and is also referred to as cardiac failure, left-sided heart failure, or right-sided heart failure.
Congestive Heart Failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people that are over the age of 65, and approximately 5.7 million Americans are living with CHF today.
For your parent receiving senior care at home, be sure that you and their caretakers are making note of any symptoms that may be a sign of heart issues in your loved one so that they can get the proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
What causes CHF?
There are many factors that can increase someone’s risk for developing CHF, such as thyroid problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, heart valve disease and other diseases of the heart, diabetes, being overweight, and past heart attacks that have lasting damage. The most common cause is coronary artery disease, which happens when the build-up of fatty plaque deposits cause narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
Signs of heart failure to look for in your senior:
• Tiredness or shortness of breath, especially when lying down
• Coughing or wheezing, especially when lying down or exercising
• Weight gain from fluid buildup
• Confusion or inability to think clearly
• Swelling in feet, ankles, and legs
How can CHF be managed or prevented?
Early diagnosis is key, as is making sure your loved one receiving senior care gets the proper treatment right away. Symptoms usually develop slowly over time as the heart weakens, and blood isn’t able to be pumped properly, so if your senior parent doesn’t have it yet, but may be at risk for it, there are lifestyle changes that they can make to help prevent it.
Quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and eating a heart-healthy diet that is low in sodium are ways that your loved one can begin to help prevent or manage heart disease right away, even while receiving senior care at home.
Getting the proper amount of sleep, monitoring blood pressure, and being as physically active as possible are other ways that seniors can help to prevent problems with their heart.
If your senior has been diagnosed with CHF, be sure and follow their doctor’s advice, but things like tracking daily fluids, taking medications exactly as prescribed, and weighing in daily to check for weight gain caused by fluids, are some good tips for helping your senior to live as comfortably as possible, for as long as possible with CHF.
If you or someone you know needs help with Senior Care in Hudsonville, MI,contact Gauthier Family Home Care.We provide quality and affordable homecare services in our community.Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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