Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic condition that affects how the heart pumps blood through the body. A diagnosis of heart failure doesn’t mean that a senior’s heart will stop; it just means that it isn’t performing effectively. Heart failure progresses in stages. CHF refers to a specific stage of heart failure in which fluid has built up in the body, hence “congestive.”
Seniors with CHF may experience difficulty when performing tasks of daily living, and they may also have a hard time managing their heart condition. That’s where caregivers come in. Home care can help seniors with CHF continue living at home as they manage the chronic condition so they can reduce their risk of hospital admission. In this post, we will explore how CHF sufferers can benefit from home care.
Assistance with Tasks of Daily Living
Seniors with CHF may experience a wide range of symptoms, including the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
Some of these symptoms can make it difficult for seniors to continue their normal routines. As they experience shortness of breath, they might not be able to walk around their home. Seniors might feel fatigued very easily, making it hard to perform simple tasks, like getting dressed or taking a shower. Unfortunately, these symptoms will not go away because CHF is a chronic condition
A caregiver can help seniors with CHF to perform these tasks. They can provide transportation, light housekeeping, personal care, and other services to enable a senior with CHF to continue their daily routine. Caregivers can also help seniors safely navigate their home. This assistance can help seniors maintain their independence and their dignity.
Manage Treatment Plan
A senior with CHF may have a treatment plan that includes medication, monitoring, lifestyle changes, or even surgery. It could be difficult for them to implement this treatment plan on their own. Caregivers can help seniors manage their treatment plan.
- Medication reminders. Caregivers can help seniors with CHF manage their medications by providing medication reminders. This service can help ensure that seniors take their medications on time and in the proper dosage.
- Monitoring. Seniors with CHF may need to track their blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, or weight. A caregiver can help remind a senior to check their vital signs and record them as needed. Caregivers can also monitor a senior’s symptoms and help them determine when they get worse.
- Lifestyle changes. Some seniors may need to make major lifestyle changes to improve their overall health. Caregivers can help motivate seniors to increase their physical activity or to stop smoking.
Prepare Healthy Meals
CHF can cause seniors to retain water and swell. Therefore, seniors with CHF should avoid sodium to help them manage their levels of fluid. Caregivers can help prepare low-sodium meals and snacks to ensure that seniors don’t take in excess salt.
Foods to avoid include:
- Fried foods
- Canned soup
- Fast food
- Salted butter
Seniors with CFH may have a weakened immune system, which can put them at a higher risk of developing infection. These infections could pose major health threats to seniors managing CHF or other chronic conditions. Caregivers can help care for seniors with infections while following standard and transmission-based precautions. In fact, we offer an Infection Control Specialty Program to help address the risk of infections in seniors. This care can help seniors avoid or manage infection without needing to be hospitalized.
Encourage Physical Activity
It might seem counterintuitive for a seniors with CHF to be active; however, these seniors should strive to keep moving. Their fatigue and shortness of breath are easy excuses to stop moving. Physical activity can help strengthen heart muscles, which is beneficial for individuals of all ages. It can help improve mood, boost energy levels, and reduce stress. Plus, weight loss can help manage weight, lower cholesterol, and improve circulation.
Some seniors may have specific exercises from a physical therapist. A caregiver can help seniors carefully and safely complete their exercises each day. This can help seniors improve their muscles and strength without needing to go to a rehabilitation facility for in-patient care.
Seniors with CHF may have a number of different doctors, from their primary care doctor to an occupational therapist. Caring Senior Service’s home care emphasizes care coordination. Our caregivers can help inform other professional care provides of a patient’s status as necessary. We can easily add other healthcare providers to a client’s Tendio Family Portal profile so that they can read care notes and stay informed.
Often, caregivers are the eyes and ears for other healthcare providers because we spend the most time with a client. We can help healthcare providers be proactive in their care approach and be alerted to early warning signs of health complications. Our caregivers can also attend doctor’s appointments to ensure that we stay in the loop on a client’s care.
Remain at Home
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of home care is that seniors can remain at home. Hospital admissions can take a toll on a senior — financially, physically, and emotionally. They may feel discouraged and even depressed.
Most seniors fear having to leave their home and lose their independence. Home is comfortable and familiar. It is filled with memories of family. Home care allows seniors to remain in their home as they age. Aging in place can help them maintain a better state of mind and remain confident in their abilities.
At Caring Senior Service, it is our goal to ensure that all seniors remain healthy, happy, and at home. We understand the difficulties that come with aging and know the challenges that come as a result of CHF. Our caregivers are specially trained to assist seniors with CHF. We have developed a specialized CHF care program that includes caregiver training and tailored care plans.
Read about our program to learn more about how Caring Senior Service can care for seniors with CHF.