Congestive Heart Failure - Have You Considered Home Care?

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posted by Ryan Whittington on September 30, 2011

As adults age their hearts start to wear out.  One of the complications they can suffer is congestive heart failure. While most people develop this slowly over time it can happen suddenly without warning. There is no cure, only management of this chronic long term heart failure. Often heart failure is caused by other problems such as coronary heart disease, infections, and cardiomyopathy.  


There are several symptoms that your heart is beginning to fail, and should be taken seriously.

  • Irregular heartbeat/pulse
  • Swelling of the abdomen, feet and ankles
  • Shortness of breath with minimal activity/cough
  • Loss of appetite

As in a lot of other medical conditions the symptoms of congestive heart failure can mimic other problems. You should make an appointment to be seen by your doctor immediately if you observe several of these symptoms. There are several different tests to confirm that your heart is failing.

A physical examination will be done and the doctor will check your heart and lungs for irregular sounds. If anything makes the doctor suspect congestive heart failure, he will send you off for one or more tests. Tests that can diagnose heart failure include:

  • Chest x-rays
  • Echocardiograms
  • MRI’s and CTscans of the heart
  • Cardiac stress tests
  • Heart catheterization


If you are diagnosed with heart failure, the treatment may consist of medications, a proper diet, and exercise schedule.

Taking the proper medications on a daily basis can include ace inhibitors, and diuretics. Ace inhibitors work by opening up the blood vessels in the heart of those who suffer from congestive heart failure. Diuretics are used to remove extra fluid from the body, which can collect around the lungs or in the legs, ankles, and feet. Maintaining a healthy diet is as important as taking medications on a daily basis.

Exercise helps keep patients at a healthy weight, and the heart strong and less strained from pumping blood. Eating foods that are low in sodium or have none at all is important to keep fluid retention down. If ever you are retaining a lot of fluid, or do not feel well it is important to rest with your feet up.

Congestive heart failure can be managed in the comfort of your own home, as long as you have the proper care. Having someone in the home with them preparing healthy meals, and keeping them on their medications can be the difference between life and death. Having someone in the house also provides company, socialization and keeps a person engaged in everyday life.

Seniors Home Care provides assistance in the St. Louis, MO. area for those needing help with services such as medication management, meal preparation and exercise encouragement.  For a more complete list of the services we offer, please visit our services page.  If you feel that you would like to know more about our services or would like to schedule a complimentary assessment for you or a loved one, please contact us.

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Seniors Home Care reserves the right to remove anything deemed inappropriate, off-topic or otherwise questionable; however, we have no responsibility to do so.