Heart failure is a misleading term, but it’s a phrase your senior might hear well before she’s ready for it.
This condition means that your senior’s heart isn’t working the way that it should in one or more ways and that’s affecting how the rest of her body works. Heart failure can be manageable for a long time.
Every Diagnosis Is Slightly Different
Heart failure covers a lot of ground, medically speaking. Your senior might be in the earlier stages of heart failure with minor issues that she can still reverse. Or she might have advanced heart failure, which means that you’re in a position now where you’re trying to preserve her quality of life as much as possible. No matter where she is, you need a full understanding of her current and future health needs from her doctor.
She May Need to Make Some Changes
If lifestyle changes will be helpful, then it’s time to implement them. Your senior’s doctor might recommend an exercise plan, for instance, or a change in her diet. These types of changes will be in addition to whatever other courses of action are recommended, such as medications to help her heart. These types of changes are sometimes difficult to make, but they’re important to weigh against your senior’s overall health. Patience helps a lot.
Some Days Will Be Better than Others
As with any chronic health issue, your elderly family member is going to have some good days and some bad days. It’s important that her quality of life stays as high as possible, even on those bad days. Having help from home care providers can ensure that she’s still got a clean home and healthy meals to eat, even if she doesn’t feel up to making those things happen.
Support Groups Can Help
Heart failure is a scary diagnosis to hear, but talking to other people experiencing the same thing helps. Talk to your senior’s doctor about support groups in the area that she might find helpful. Going to meetings gives her a chance to get out and to be social, but she can also hear about valuable information that can make her life with heart failure so much easier.
Just being diagnosed with heart failure doesn’t mean that your elderly family member’s life as she knows it is over. This is an opportunity for her to change some of the aspects in her life that can be contributing to poor health. As she learns to better take care of those issues, she can start to see dramatic results.