7 Benefits of Providing Extra Care for Seniors with CHF

caring for seniors with CHF

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) affects almost 5 million Americans. CHF means the heart is unable to pump effectively to deliver blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the body.

You may be wondering how non-medical care can help a patient with CHF. There are many benefits, but these seven top the list.

1. Early Recognition of Warning Signs

The initial symptoms of CHF often go unnoticed, especially if the primary caregiver doesn’t know what to look for. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to call the doctor immediately.

  • Sudden weight gain (3 pounds or more in 1 or 2 days)
  • Increased swelling in legs or ankles
  • Shortness of breath while at rest
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Dry, hacking cough or wheezing
  • Increased fatigue or feeling unwell all the time
  • Abdominal pain or swelling

2. Assistance Maintaining a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can help offset the health issues related to CHF. Caregivers can ensure a patient maintains a healthy and complete diet by implementing these tips:

  • Decrease sodium intake, and read food labels for items with less than 350 mg sodium per serving.
  • Cook with less salt.
  • Increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook with fresh meat, legumes, and eggs, and avoid highly processed foods.
  • Season with herbs, spices, flavored vinegar, and fruit juices.

3. Keeping the Patient Physically Active

Physical activity is another important way to combat CHF. Caregivers should follow these tips to help patients stay physically active, despite their condition:

  • Encourage low to moderate exercise.
  • Perform activities in short intervals, especially if your patient is easily fatigued.
  • Take short walks to get the blood moving.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park at the edges of the parking lot when going to the store.
  • Perform light housework together.

4. Ensuring the Patient is Comfortable

CHF can bring with it some fairly uncomfortable side effects. A caregiver can ensure that the patient stays as comfortable as possible by:

  • Helping them find and wear comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Helping them select and wear support stockings
  • Providing pillows to elevate head, making it easier to breathe

5. Administration of Medications and Supplements

There are many medications and supplements that can help relieve the symptoms of CHF — but only if they’re taken regularly. A caregiver can help ensure they’re being taken at the appropriate time by:

  • Reminding the patient to take their medication on time
  • Establishing a schedule
  • Helping them organize a weekly pillbox
  • Keeping a record of medication intake and any side effects

6. Make the Most of Doctor Visits

Doctor visits are an important time to communicate changes in a patient’s condition and address possible issues. Caregivers can help in these ways:

  • Keeping records and going over them at the doctor appointment
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Providing transportation to and from doctor visits
  • Asking questions and taking notes

7. Daily Record Keeping

The symptoms of CHF can change from day to day, and it’s important to keep careful records to track how the patient’s health looks over the long-term. Consider all of these things:

  • How is the patient breathing?
  • What dedications (names, doses, times, any side effects) are they currently taking?
  • How is their diet and level of activity?
  • Are there any notable or unusual symptoms?

 

If your senior loved one suffers from CHF or other severe heart problems, they may benefit from the added care and expertise of an in-home healthcare provider. There are many advantages of having a knowledgeable caregiver who can ensure a patient’s health and safety, as well as their medical requirements, are kept in mind at all times.

At David York Agency, we offer home healthcare services from highly trained and vetted professionals you can trust. From home health aides to RN’s and LPNs, DYA can provide your family with a level of in-home healthcare that meets your needs.

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

 

The Importance of In-Home Healthcare for Seniors with CHF

Seniors with CHF

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can be fatal, and seniors are at an especially high risk. In people over the age of 65, heart failure is the most common reason for hospital admissions, with 900,000 people being hospitalized in the US each year.

CHF does not mean that the heart is literally failing. The heart just has a difficult time pumping blood throughout the body and has to work harder. This results in buildup of fluid throughout the body.

There are many potential causes of CHF: coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and conditions that weaken the heart, such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and birth defects. CHF can be managed and treated by working with a physician, using medications, and also utilizing non-medical treatments such as in-home caregivers

In-home care can be very beneficial to the CHF patient. Having a caregiver in the home who has knowledge of CHF can help the patient to get the fastest and best possible treatment. CHF needs to be promptly treated in order to avoid complications or more serious issues. If potential symptoms of CHF present themselves, a well-educated caregiver can contact the patient’s doctor, and treatment can be obtained immediately. The patient’s normal senior care routine can be modified to include protocol for CHF.

Warning Signs of CHF

  • Congested Lungs: Fluid may back up in the body due to a weak heart. The patient may experience shortness of breath when exercising and/or difficulty breathing when at rest or lying flat. A dry, hacking, or wheezing cough may also be present.
  • Fluid and Water Retention: The patient may experience swollen ankles, legs, or abdomen (edema). They may also experience significant weight gain in a short period of time. An increased urge to urinate may also be present. Bloating in the stomach may cause nausea and/or loss of appetite.
  • Dizziness, Fatigue, and Weakness: Decreased blood flow to the major organs of the body may cause these symptoms to arise.
  • Rapid or Irregular Heartbeat: With fluid buildup in the body, the heart may have to work harder to pump blood to major organs.

In addition to recognizing warning signs of CHF, in-home caregivers can assist the patient in the following ways:

  • Assisting the patient with maintaining fluid balance by keeping a daily journal of fluid intake
  • Ensuring the patient follows a low-sodium diet
  • Helping the patient with weight maintenance
  • Monitoring of symptoms and notifying the doctor when needed
  • Ensuring the patient takes medications as prescribed

 

If your senior loved one suffers from CHF or other severe heart problems, they may benefit from the added care and expertise of an in-home care provider. A knowledgeable caregiver will maintain consistent communication with the patient, his or her doctors, the family, and all other involved parties, in order to ensure the patient’s medical needs, health, and safety are met.

At David York Agency, we offer home healthcare services from highly trained and vetted professionals who you can trust. From home health aides to RN’s and LPNs, DYA can provide your family with a level of in-home assistance that meets your needs.

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.