Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, happens when the heart isn’t able to pump as effectively and efficiently as it should. It usually develops as a result of other health conditions that weaken the heart muscle. Some conditions that can lead to heart failure are a heart attack, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure. If your aging relative has one of these conditions, knowing the symptoms of heart failure may mean getting them medical attention sooner.
Symptoms of Heart Failure
The symptoms of failure can develop slowly over time, but they can also come on suddenly. Some signs that your aging relative may have heart failure are:
Coughing or Wheezing: People with heart failure may have a persistent cough or wheeze frequently. A cough may even produce white or pinkish mucus. This happens when blood pools in the veins in the lungs because the heart cannot pump hard enough to move the blood out, causing fluids to build up in the lungs.
Dyspnea: Dyspnea is the medical term for feeling short of breath. Heart failure most commonly causes people to feel short of breath when they are physically active. However, it can also happen while they are resting or even sleeping.
Edema: Edema is the build-up of excess fluids in parts of the body. With heart failure, edema usually happens in the feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen.
Changes in Heart Rate: Heart failure can cause the heart to beat more rapidly or cause palpitations.
Tips for Managing Heart Failure
If your aging relative is diagnosed with heart failure, there are several things that can help to manage the condition at home. Some tips for managing heart failure are:
Limit Sodium: Eating too much sodium can cause fluid retention. To reduce sodium intake, use herbs and spices instead of salt to season foods. Also, opt for low-sodium versions of canned goods.
Monitor Fluids: Monitoring fluid intake, as well as urination, can help the doctor to determine an appropriate treatment plan. Track the liquids the older adult drinks. Also, include foods that contain liquid in the tracking, such as soups. Write down how often the senior may urinate during the day.
Keep Track of Weight: The older adult should weigh themselves daily as it can be an indicator of whether they are retaining more fluids than normal. If they are overweight, losing some weight can also help with heart failure symptoms.
Take Medications: The doctor will probably prescribe medications as part of the treatment plan. It’s important that the older adult take them in the amounts and at the times recommended.
An elderly care provider can assist with managing heart failure in several ways. Elderly care providers can prepare healthy meals and snacks that are low in sodium. They can also track fluid intake and output. Elderly care providers can also help seniors to weigh themselves daily and write down the results. If your loved one has difficulty remembering to take their medicine, an elderly care provider can remind them when it is time.
For more information about hiring Elder Care in La Costa, CA, call the friendly caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare who can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, at 858-454-9339. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable senior care in La Jolla, CA, and the surrounding communities.