As a family caregiver, your primary priority is to help your parent live a lifestyle that is safe and healthy. This means that you must stay aware of the potential risks that your aging parent is facing so that you can make care decisions that are right for them. One potential risk is congestive heart failure. While this may sound like your parent’s heart has stopped, or that it is in eminent danger of stopping, this is not the case. Congestive heart failure, instead, is a condition characterized by a heart that has weakened to the point of no longer being able to efficiently and effectively pump blood through the body. Understanding this condition and how it may impact your loved one helps you to create a care approach tailored to their individual needs, challenges, and experiences with this condition.
What you need to know about congestive heart failure includes:
- Approximately 6.5 million adults throughout the United States are currently suffering from heart failure
- In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control reports that one in nine deaths included congestive heart failure as a contributing cause
- Approximately 50 percent of those people who develop congestive heart failure will die within 5 years of their initial diagnosis
- Diseases that can cause damage to the heart increase the chances that your aging loved one will develop congestive heart failure. Some of these include diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease
- Other risk factors for heart failure include unhealthy lifestyle options such as smoking, being overweight, or not getting enough physical exercise
- One of the most important guidelines that most doctors recommend for adult who are dealing with congestive heart failure is to reduce the sodium that your parent consumes. This will help them to reduce fluid buildup within their body and lessen strain and stress on the heart
If your parent has been showing signs of congestive heart failure and you are concerned about their health, make an appointment to get them into the doctor as quickly as possible. The sooner your parent is diagnosed, the sooner that they can get on the course of treatment and management that is right for their needs.
If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. Having a senior home care services provider in the home with your aging parent is a fantastic way to ensure that they get the support, encouragement, and care that they need in order to stay as healthy as possible and manage their condition in the best way that they can for their personal needs. This can include helping them with their grocery shopping and meal preparation to guide them in sticking to the guidelines presented by their doctor, offering reminders so that they stay compliant with medication and other treatments, and encouraging them to stay active and life a healthier lifestyle as they age in place.