An estimated five million people in the United States live with heart failure, and more than three million of these individuals are over the age of 65. When someone has heart failure, it means his or her heart doesn’t pump strongly enough to get the blood throughout the body. Caring for a senior loved with heart failure means helping him or her address the condition to prolong his or her heart health.
1. Monitor Fluid Intake
Your loved one needs to get enough fluids each day to prevent dehydration and keep the kidneys functioning well. However, taking in too many fluids can cause the heart to work harder. Monitor your loved one’s fluid intake levels and make sure your parent adheres to the doctor’s fluid guidelines. Fluids aren’t limited to only the water and juices your loved one drinks. Soups, gelatin, ice cream, and water-rich fruit also count toward his or her fluid intake.
2. Help with Weight Management
If your loved one is carrying extra pounds, this means his or her heart has to work harder to pump blood. Encourage your loved one to shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat. Keep treats to a minimum and limit soda and alcohol consumption.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
3. Make Sure Doctor Appointments Are Kept
Your loved one needs to attend appointments with his or her cardiologist so the doctor can monitor how your loved one’s heart is doing. The cardiologist may recommend tests or lab work that needs to be done at another office. Make a calendar and help your loved one get to all of these appointments so the doctor is able to create and adjust a treatment plan that keeps your loved one’s heart working for as long as possible.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Fort Myers seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Manage Medications
It’s important that your loved one take his or her medications regularly at approximately the same time every day. This keeps the right amount of medication in your parent’s body to help his or her heart function. Talk with your loved one’s insurance company and pharmacy and try to arrange automatic refills and deliveries of your loved one’s prescriptions.
5. Exercise Together
Some people think exercising will make their hearts wear out or lessen their effectiveness, but the opposite is true. The heart is a muscle, and regular exercise strengthens it and helps it pump more efficiently. Talk with your loved one’s doctor about what exercises are right for your parent and what his or her target heart rate should be. Getting a wearable fitness tracker can be a great way to motivate your loved one to take more steps and hit his or her target heart rate each day. Finding activities to do together can make exercise time more fun for your loved one.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of at-home care. Fort Myers Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (239) 449-4701 today.