You’ve started noticing that you’re often out of breath, even from very mild physical activity, and your legs, feet or ankles are beginning to swell. Could it be congestive heart failure? Affecting as many as five million Americans, congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition that causes debilitating illness due to the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
It is estimated that as much as $30 billion is spent on patients with CHF each year! CHF not only causes considerable financial impact on the health care system, it also has a significant impact on the quality of life for both the patient and the loved ones involved with his or her care.
The good news is that senior care professionals, like those at Nightingale Homecare, are employing specific interventions that not only improve the quality of life for patients with CHF, but also work to prevent hospitalizations and readmissions.
Here’s what we recommend and help our patients put into practice to maintain optimum health following a CHF diagnosis:
- Take medications as prescribed. CHF meds can eliminate the fluid accumulating in the lungs and extremities, as well as the heart’s pumping ability, so it is important to adhere to the medication regimen prescribed by your doctor for maximum benefit.
- Limit salt intake. A low sodium diet doesn’t have to be boring! There are so many alternatives to sodium that not only enhance food’s flavor, but can also dramatically improve how CHF patients feel. Preparing meals at home allows for careful monitoring of sodium levels, and the caregivers at Nightingale Homecare are experienced in preparing healthy, delicious, low-sodium meals.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise gets blood pumping to areas of the body in need and strengthens the heart and muscles surrounding tissues and organs, making CHF patients stronger and more able to withstand a setback. Nightingale Homecare’s nurses and/or physical and occupational therapists can provide training on how to conserve energy during exercise while building up stamina.
- Check symptoms every day. Patients living with CHF are expected to monitor any weight gain, swelling in extremities, shortness of breath and urine output on a daily basis. All these signs and symptoms are indicators of whether the disease is in optimal control.
If your loved one is living with CHF, reach out to Nightingale Homecare to discuss your specific needs for home care and monitoring of the disease. Our team of caring professionals has developed a unique program called Pathlink, designed to empower our patients to control and manage their chronic disease. Nightingale’s care is provided based on each individual’s needs, any time of the day or night—all from the comfort of home.
Nightingale Homecare is tailored to the needs of each individual situation. Contact us any time at 602-504-1555, or complete our simple online contact form to let us know how we can help. If getting trusted senior care at home and maintaining independence is critical to your long-term care plan, Nightingale Homecare can help.