Heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle becomes too weak or too stiff to efficiently pump blood throughout the body. It is usually caused by underlying conditions that affect the heart muscle. There is no cure for heart failure but managing the conditions that cause it can prevent it from happening or help to better manage existing heart failure.
Kinds of Heart Failure
Heart failure doesn’t always affect the entire heart. It can occur on just the left side or just the right side. Most of the time, though, it starts in the left ventricle, which is the primary pumping chamber of the heart.
The kinds of heart failure are:
Left-Sided Heart Failure: With this kind of heart failure, fluid can collect in the lungs, making the older adult short of breath.
Right-Sided Heart Failure: This kind causes fluid to accumulate in the legs, feet, and abdomen, which makes them swell.
Systolic Heart Failure: This happens when the left ventricle isn’t able to pump vigorously enough.
Diastolic Heart Failure: Diastolic heart failure happens when the left ventricle doesn’t relax and doesn’t fill properly.
Causes of Heart Failure
There are several conditions that can lead to heart failure.
Some of them are:
High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure makes the heart work harder to circulate blood through the body. The extra work can make the heart stiff or weak.
Heart Valve Problems: When the heart valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction are damaged, the heart works harder to keep blood moving as it should.
Coronary Artery Disease: Coronary artery disease happens because of a buildup of plaque on artery walls, which makes them narrow. Because arteries are narrower than they should be, it’s harder for the heart to push blood through them.
Arrhythmia: Irregular heartbeats cause more work for the heart, leading to weakness or stiffness.
Chronic Diseases: Diseases like diabetes and thyroid problems can also contribute to the development of heart failure.
If your aging relative has heart failure, home care can help them to take better care of themselves. Home care providers can assist with the management of underlying conditions as well as heart failure. A home care provider can remind them when it’s time to take medications, ensuring they don’t forget a dose. Home care providers can also encourage a heart healthy lifestyle by preparing healthy meals, assisting with physical activity, and reducing the senior’s sodium intake.