The American Heart Association website states that “the term "heart failure" makes it sound like the heart is no longer working at all and there's nothing that can be done. Actually, heart failure means that the heart isn't pumping as well as it should be. Your body depends on the heart's pumping action to deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the body's cells. When the cells are nourished properly, the body can function normally. With heart failure, the weakened heart can't supply the cells with enough blood (View an animation of heart failure). This results in fatigue and shortness of breath. Everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs or carrying groceries can become very difficult. Heart failure is a serious condition, and usually there's no cure.”
The good news from the American Heart Association is that “many people with heart failure lead a full, enjoyable life when the condition is managed with heart failure medications and healthy lifestyle changes. It's also helpful to have the support of family and friends who understand your condition.”
There are also specific programs generally covered by insurance plans and offered by home care agencies and outpatient rehab clinics to help patients learn the early warning signs of distress. Patients can then work with their physicians to prevent a crisis and rushing to the hospital. These heart failure programs and specifically trained nurses and physical therapists can help hearth failure patients live a better quality of life.
For more information on living with heart failure and to watch some very helpful videos from the Qualidigm Heart Talk Video Series designed to reduce hospitalizations in Ct and improve residents’ quality of life, click here.