Congestive heart failure, or CHF, is a condition in which your senior’s heart is not working the way that it should. There are different types of heart failure, and your senior’s doctor will be able to give you a full picture of what CHF means for your senior. As her family caregiver, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about heart failure and how to help your senior to manage it.
Her Life Might Not Change Much at First
If your senior is diagnosed with congestive heart failure early on, her life might not change a lot at first. She may not be dealing with some of the more difficult symptoms of heart failure. But making some changes now might be a recommendation she hears from her doctor.
Lifestyle Changes Can Slow Down CHF
Making some lifestyle changes right away won’t necessarily cure congestive heart failure, but those changes can help your elderly family member to manage her condition more effectively. Some of the changes that her doctor might recommend could include adjusting her diet, exercising regularly, and reducing her salt intake.
She May Experience Fatigue More Easily
As CHF progresses, your elderly family member may be fatigued more easily, which can make exercising more complicated for her. She may also experience other symptoms, like nausea or feeling full all of the time. She might find that she’s more uncomfortable than usual more often.
Dealing with Shortness of Breath Is Important
Because of the proximity of her lungs to her heart, your senior most likely is going to experience shortness of breath. This can be upsetting for your senior, especially if she’s resting and becomes short of breath. Her doctor can recommend breathing exercises that can help.
She May Have a Lot More Fluid Buildup
Something else that is common for CHF patients to experience is edema, especially in the feet and legs. Her doctor may recommend diuretics to help with this. Exercise and propping her feet up can also help quite a bit when the swelling gets a little worse.
Managing congestive heart failure can eventually dramatically change your senior’s life and her ability to do the things that she wants and needs to do. One solution is to hire senior care providers to give your elderly family member that extra hand so that she can focus on the tasks that she most wants to do herself.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Leesburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655
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