How to Manage Congestive Heart Failure at Home
Feb. 7, 2023
By Kaylee Yamry
Here's What you Need to Know About Managing Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Congestive Heart Failure can be challenging, complex, and frightening. Here is how you can also make the condition manageable.
When patients become knowledgeable about CHF and take an active role in their own treatment, they help themselves feel better and enjoy a better quality of life. One of the most important keys to managing Congestive Heart Failure is education. When patients understand their condition and the reasons behind the many aspects of the treatment plan, they’re much better equipped to manage this complex cardiac problem.
Know the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of Medication
A person with a Congestive Heart Failure diagnosis may be prescribed between three and six medications a day. That can be hard to accept and manage. But when patients understand what the medications do and how they work together to treat different aspects of heart failure, it begins to make sense. For example...
- Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors improve survival by relaxing the arteries and making it easier for the heart to pump.
- Beta-blockers also improve survival by blocking certain blood chemicals that can increase the heart rate and damage the heart.
- Diuretics (water pills) cause the kidneys to remove extra sodium and fluid from the body, which decreases the workload of the heart.
- Potassium and magnesium supplements replenish the body’s store of these minerals, which can be depleted through diuretic use.
- Digoxin makes the heart squeeze more forcefully.
- Nitrates relieve chest pain by relaxing arteries and veins.
- Warfarin decreases the risk of blood clot formation.
- Aspirin thins the blood and decreases the risk of future heart attacks.
Having multiple medications can be confusing and hard to manage. Fortunately, there are medication management strategies for Congestive Heart Failure. Knute Nelson offers medication management devices that may be the perfect solution to a complex medication schedule. These locked automatic pill dispensers offer security, control, and insight that allows for the proper dispensing of the correct medication and dosage at the correct time. Never worry about taking the wrong medication or dose again. Contact us to learn more about medication management devices.
Join the Treatment Team
In addition to taking the right medications, successfully managing Congestive Heart Failure symptoms depends a lot on a patient’s involvement in the treatment plan. That’s because a person with heart failure will almost certainly need to...
- avoid salt and limit fluid intake so the heart doesn’t have to work harder to move extra fluid through the body.
- limit intake of alcohol to avoid further heart damage and interference with medications.
- control blood pressure to avoid putting extra strain on the heart.
- exercise as recommended by the doctor to strengthen the heart.
- get enough rest so the heart has a chance to relax.
You are not in this alone. Knute Nelson offers home health care professionals who are trained and highly knowledgeable about managing Congestive Heart Failure and other chronic conditions. Managing your illness can be complex and draining. Your focus should be on giving your body the rest it needs. Let us focus on managing your condition and help you remain independent at home. Learn more about Knute Nelson Home Health Care.
Stay Alert to Warning Signs
Sometimes, despite careful compliance with the treatment plan, patients with heart failure will experience symptom flare-ups such as shortness of breath, swollen ankles, weight gain, and fatigue. It’s important to know about these warning signs as soon as possible. That way doctors can treat the patient aggressively to get past the flare-ups and prevent further progression of the disease. Knute Nelson Home Health Care professionals are trained to recognize the warning signs of Congestive Heart Failure, as well as educate you on symptoms and give you tips on how to manage your condition.
A well-informed and actively participating patient can have a tremendously positive impact on his or her quality of life. The medical community can offer heart failure patients the latest medication and medical devices, physicians can provide expert care and guidance, and home health care teams can provide additional support and care. But in many respects, the power resides in the patient.
Take this short assessment to learn if home health care might be beneficial to you in monitoring and managing your condition. If you are ready to speak with an expert, the Knute Nelson team is available at (320)335-8753 or fill out an inquiry form.
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