Learning that your loved one has heart failure may feel like a death sentence for them. However, with the right help at home provided by you and elder care providers, your senior could live a very full and comfortable life.
But what is heart failure? How can you help your senior mom or dad? It can be scary and frustrating to not have all of the information or data necessary to help your parents, and that’s why learning about these conditions can be so crucial.
Time to Consider Hiring Elder Care Providers.
Many seniors choose to age in place, and they can live with heart failure depending on the situation. However, if your mom or dad refuses to go to a nursing home and you’re unable to see them every day, it’s time to consider hiring elder care providers for their home. When you want to make sure your parent is sticking to a healthy routine regardless of whether you are there, elder care providers are a good solution.
The first thing you need to know about heart failure is that it is not one’s fault. You may want to blame it on their diet or lifestyle, but chances are they didn’t control what happened to them. Having nothing to blame or fix can make something seem even scarier, and it’s crucial to find ways to remain calm and never panic. Heart failure means a heart is still working but not as well as it should or could be. Living with this condition can be challenging, but it is doable with the right amount of work. With the right medical team, your help, help from a caregiver, and more, your senior can make it through this condition.
How To Diagnose Heart Disease?
Typically, someone will go to the emergency department with shortness of breath and edema (swelling). A chest X-ray will reveal that the heart is enlarged, alerting physicians to the need for more testing. This initial emergency room trip can seem like the end of the world but you must remain calm throughout the whole trip. If there is no emergency room trip and a doctor is suspecting heart failure they will do three things.
- An echocardiogram
- Nuclear scans
- Cardiac catheterization
These three tests will help uncover whether or not a senior’s heart is working properly. All of these tests are attempting to identify how much blood is being pumped out of the heart with each pump. The ejection fraction (EF) is a percentage that estimates how much blood departs the heart with each pump.
What Exactly Is Heart Failure?
Heart failure is more than just a mechanical issue. When the body does not get enough oxygen-rich blood, the neuroendocrine system is activated, resulting in the release of stress hormones.
Neurohormones have several harmful impacts. They constrict arteries and retain salt and water, causing fluid to accumulate in the constricted blood vessels. This leads to a vicious cycle in which the individual becomes thirsty and drinks more. The heart continues to pump harder and harder, exacerbating the symptoms.
There are two types of heart failure to be aware of:
- Systolic heart failure– signifies that the heart’s pump is feeble, having a strength of less than 50%.
- Diastolic heart failure– This indicates that the heart isn’t resting sufficiently between pumps to supply it with adequate blood. A tight muscle does not relax enough to allow for proper filling. The heart’s strength might be low or great.
The best way to understand if a senior has heart failure is by going to the doctor when they start having difficulty breathing or other symptoms of heart failure.