In-home care for heart failure
It can be difficult and scary caring for a loved one suffering from heart failure. Heart failure is a condition that happens when our hearts are not strong enough to supply our body with enough blood to satisfy our need for oxygen. Oxygen, as you know, is what what allows us to breathe easily.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a form of heart failure that occurs when blood and other types of fluids are building up in a specific areas of our body. This build-up leads to swelling in our lower extremities along with our lungs and abdomen region. Congestive Heart Failure occurs when this fluid build-up gathers around our hearts, our lungs, or other organs. CHF is a very serious condition that physicians must monitor closely.
Patients with various forms of heart failure can utilize in-home medical care to help manage the disease and continue to live independently for as long as possible.
Providing care for someone with heart failure
Monitoring blood pressure and heart rate is important when caring for someone with heart failure. This can be done in-home using a heart rate monitor and a blood pressure cuff. The specific treatment plan prescribed by your medical professional will likely be tailored based on the results of monitoring these levels. In addition, your physician will likely require that you keep track of changes in blood pressure, fluctuations in weight, and the ability for the patient to perform normal activities.
Eating healthy is more important than ever when dealing with heart failure
Here are some tips that may help manage the symptoms of heart failure and potentially slow down the progression of the disease:
- Limit your dairy intake by switching to almond milk or a non-dairy substitute
- If you cannot cut out dairy completely, drink low-fat milk
- Make sure to eat a lot of vegetables – raw or cooked
- Fruits are a healthy snack, but be careful of sugar intake
- Avoid red meat and opt for more lean proteins such as chicken and fish
- Avoid eating fried or deep fried proteins such as fried chicken
- Keep an eye on your intake of sodium per day (under 1,450 mg per day is ideal)
- Avoid alcohol, if possible. If not, limit your drinks to less than you usually drink
- Stay properly hydrated
Visit our Cardiac Care page to learn more about in-home treatment for people living with heart disease.