Congestive heart failure, or CHF, is a chronic heart condition that impacts the lives of millions of people all over the world. Managing CHF is a big job, but when seniors have the help that they need, that job is a lot easier than they might have expected. Home care providers can do a lot to help seniors with both hands-on and emotional support that makes a difference.
Understand What CHF Is and What it Means for Seniors
Congestive heart failure often gets misunderstood as a condition in which the heart is not working at all. This isn’t the case. What’s happening is that the heart isn’t working as well as it should and this causes fluid to accumulate in other parts of the body, like the lungs and lower extremities. People with CHF are often fatigued very easily, have to deal with shortness of breath, and experience lots of edema in their legs and arms.
Manage Medications Properly
Medication is a key component of most plans for keeping CHF in check. Seniors may need additional help remembering to take their medications when and how they should. Having reminders from elder care providers to stay on target with medication plans can be a huge help for seniors.
Eat a Healthy Diet and Balance Fluids
Eating a diet that is lower in sodium is often suggested for seniors with CHF. This helps to keep fluid retention and high blood pressure at healthy levels. Drinking just the right amount of water each day is also crucial. Seniors benefit from having home care providers there to help them to stay on track with these dietary changes.
Get Plenty of Exercise
If exercise is recommended by medical professionals, it’s important to have a routine in place for that. It can be tough for seniors to start exercising, however. Having caregivers there to help with setting up and maintaining routines can be incredibly helpful. Seniors may also find that having someone else there is motivating for them when it comes to moving more.
Monitor Vital Signs
Some simple vital signs, like blood pressure levels, heart rate, and even weight, give medical providers lots of valuable information about CHF patients. Some seniors may find their doctors requesting them to keep logs of this and other information on a regular basis. Home care assistance can help seniors to keep up with tracking this data easily.
Reach Out for Emotional Support
Stress is not good for any chronic health issue, including CHF. Finding ways to reduce stress and reach out for emotional support is essential. Support groups can help, as can talking to friends and family. It also helps to have elderly care providers available regularly, because they can offer caring and understanding emotional support as well.
Seniors who have CHF can absolutely have a high quality of life. But they often need quite a bit of support in order to get to that point and home care providers can offer that support for them every single day.