Dementia and Delirium DifferencesAugust 2, 2016
Managing Heart DiseaseAugust 17, 2016
Heart disease describes a range of conditions including congenital heart defects, heart arrhythmias and coronary heart disease (hardening of the arteries). More than 27.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of heart disease and it is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Many forms of heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure, where the heart muscle can no longer pump enough blood through the body. It is a life-threatening condition which has a number of severe symptoms associated with it.
If you or a relative suffers from congestive heart failure it can become difficult to perform common domestic duties around the home and it may have a significant impact on the quality of your life. This article will share some information about managing congestive heart failure and how home care services can help!
What is Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive heart failure happens when the heart muscle weakens to the point where it can no longer pump enough blood to satisfy the body’s requirements. When a person has congestive heart failure, the main pumping chambers of the heart become larger and cannot contract sufficiently to push blood around the body.
The most common cause of congestive heart failure is coronary heart disease, where the interior of arteries become coated with a plaque-like substance. The arteries gradually become narrower and it becomes more difficult for the heart to pump blood. The risk factors for coronary heart disease include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity and a poor diet that is high in cholesterol.
Congestive heart failure can suddenly occur or it can be an ongoing issue that takes years to develop. If congestive heart failure has been caused by coronary heart disease, symptoms may take years to appear. The symptoms of congestive heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath, particularly during physical activities
- Muscular fatigue and tiredness
- Swelling of the legs or ankles
- Weight gain
- Heart palpitations
- Excess blood and other fluids causing swelling in the body
- Chest pain or discomfort in some parts of the upper body
- Unexplained coughing and wheezing
- Loss of appetite
Congestive heart failure is typically treated with a variety of medications and surgery may be used.
Managing Congestive Heart Failure with Non-Medical Home Care Services
Home care involves professionally trained Caregivers helping you in the privacy of your own home. They can provide a wide range of support services which make it easier to live with congestive heart failure. The services include:
Assistance preparing meals
If a client is suffering from congestive heart failure, it can become difficult to prepare a meal or clean the kitchen. Home care staff can provide nutritious and delicious meals that are customized to match a client’s unique dietary requirements. The meals can be pre-made or prepared in the client’s home.
Help with personal hygiene
Because congestive heart failure makes it difficult for a person to breath, simple tasks like showering and getting dressed can become difficult. Home care staff can make these tasks much simpler and less taxing.
Assistance with medication
A person with a heart condition often has to take many different pills each day. Home care staff can help by picking up medications from the pharmacy and ensuring the client takes the correct dosages at the right times.
Performing domestic duties
Having severe congestive heart failure can make performing basic domestic duties very hard. Operating a vacuum cleaner or mopping a floor is difficult if a client experiences dizziness or shortness of breath. Home care staff can perform domestic duties in a client’s home, ensuring that the environment remains clean and hygienic. Some of the duties they can perform include laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, organizing the pantry and mopping.
Getting out and about becomes more difficult when suffering from a serious health condition. Home care staff can make it easier by providing transportation to doctor appointments and social engagements.
Companionship and social engagement
If a client is too ill to leave the house very often, the presence of home care staff can be useful for providing companionship and social engagement. They will have a chat with the client, read them a book or talk about current events.
Home care staff can help with physical rehabilitation if it is required. That may include performing stretches or different types of exercise.
Help managing the household
Caregivers can also help with common household management tasks like opening mail, paying bills, posting letters, shopping and much more!
If you are interested in learning more about managing congestive heart failure and how All Heart Home Care can help contact us today at 619-736-4677. We offer free in-home consultations and can explain all of the benefits obtained from using a home care service!