Nationally, one of every four heart failure patients is readmitted within 30 days of discharge and as many as 40 percent within six months. At the same time, studies have shown that with proper management, heart failure patients could be kept out of the hospital in at least 40 percent of cases.
Whereas it was once felt that heart transplants and other state-of-the-art technologies was the best way to help these patients, today the thinking is to start with the basics by educating and teaching people to make lifestyle changes. This includes:
Heart failure, once called congestive heart failure, is when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. With this often chronic condition, blood may back up in other areas of the body causing fluid buildup in the lungs, liver, GI tract, and arms and legs. This causes a lack of oxygen and nutrition to the organs and extremities, damaging and reducing their ability to work properly.
Coronary artery disease (or CAD), which is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, is the most common cause of heart failure. Diseases like emphysema and severe anemia can also contribute to heart failure.
Symptoms often begin slowly, and may only be apparent when one is active. They include:
A preventive program often includes diet and exercise and other healthy lifestyle changes. Recommended diets include foods low in sodium and salt – which can mean avoiding such staples as cured meats, bacon, sausages, ham, cheese and bottled dressings – and the use of such spices as pepper, garlic and lemon instead of salt. Patients are urged to lose weight and, for those who smoke, to quit.
Angels Senior Home Solutions is a based-in-faith company that provides in-home healthcare and personal care services for seniors. We are pleased to provide caregivers that help to restore independence, health and confidence to the elderly.
For more information, please visit our website at www.angelsinhome.com.