Male senior citizen holds his hands onto his chest in pain.

Managing Congestive Heart Failure in Seniors

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Congestive heart failure (abbreviated CHF) is a type of chronic heart disease, which mostly affects seniors above the age of 65. The phrase “heart failure” does not mean that the heart of the person will stop functioning altogether. Instead, the condition weakens the heart’s muscles and affects how it pumps blood to the body. Heart failure can be of many different types; CHF refers to a specific kind of condition wherein seniors experience excessive fluid built-up in various parts of their body.

Seniors with CHF generally have trouble with performing day-to-day tasks and cannot manage their heart condition adequately. This is why caregivers at assisted living facilities offer specialized care services to seniors with the congestive heart failure condition. With proper care, the risk of hospitalization due to worsening of the disease can be avoided. Below is how staffs at an assisted living community manage CHF in their residents.

Providing Assistance with Daily Routines

Congestive heart failure can lead to many health complications if not managed properly. The common symptoms of the condition include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. These symptoms make it very difficult for seniors to follow their regular daily routines. For instance, seniors experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue may not be able to walk around well or perform even simple tasks like taking a shower or getting dressed.

Caregivers at the senior living facility will be there to assist them with all these tasks. Assisted living communities have experienced and trained staff on the site round the clock to help seniors manage their daily routines and get help whenever needed. The team at assisted living homes will also help seniors safely move around the facility and socialize with other residents.

Managing the Treatment Plan

Treating CHF may require taking medications, changing certain lifestyle habits, and even surgery in some cases. Most seniors will not be able to manage the treatment plan all by themselves, which is why caregivers at assisted living facilities help them manage their medications, ensure proper dosages, monitor their lifestyle changes, and provide specialized post-surgery care if needed.

The assisted living community’s staff also keeps an eye on the overall health of their residents by checking their blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, and body weight at regular intervals. They will also help seniors to check the vital signs of the condition and record them to take the appropriate action if their heart health becomes worse at any point.

Preparing Healthy and Nourishing Meals

As congestive heart failure leads to retention of water and fluids in different parts of the body, seniors are recommended to avoid sodium intake to manage their condition. Assisted living facilities prepare the meal plans for their residents, taking their overall health and underlying conditions into consideration. This way, they offer delicious and healthy meals to seniors with CHF and ensure that they do not consume excess salt, which could worsen the symptoms.

In general, the foods to avoid in the case of CHF include bacon, canned soups, fried foods, salted butter, soy sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, fast foods, etc. That is why dieticians at assisted living care facilities prepare a meal plan for seniors with CHF that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are low in sodium.

Aside from these, caregivers at the assisted living community will also help seniors avoid the risk of infections. They will also coordinate with the primary healthcare doctors and therapists to ensure that seniors with CHF lead a healthy and comfortable life. Besides, assisted living facilities will also motivate seniors with CHF to lead an active lifestyle to combat the usual concerns related to aging effectively.

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