6 Tips for Caring for an Elderly Parent with Heart Failure

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Heart failure is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations among older adults and is typically caused by current cardiovascular conditions and poor heart health habits throughout the years. Seniors can address this condition by following treatment guidelines recommended by doctors and receiving high-quality care. Below are some of the most effective ways to care for an elderly loved one with heart failure.

1. Provide At-Home Monitoring

Some of your daily duties will include checking your loved one’s blood pressure, weight, pulse, and heart rate. Monitor your parent’s coughing habits, evaluate his or her breathing patterns at night, monitor weight gain or loss, and check to see if his or her energy decreases or his or her legs and ankles become swollen. If there are significant changes, you need to report those to the doctor immediately.

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, an elderly 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.

2. Serve Low-Sodium Foods

Too much salt can increase the amount of extra fluid around the lungs and heart. The excess liquid will make the heart work harder and raise blood pressure levels. Use other options when cooking, such as garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, ground black pepper, or a sodium-free salt substitute. When grocery shopping for your loved one, choose salt-free or low-sodium options.

3. Encourage Exercise

Heart failure doesn’t prevent older adults from exercising regularly. Physical movement is necessary to keep the heart healthy. When encouraging your parent to exercise, choose routines that don’t overexert his or her mind or body. Walking and strength training techniques are good choices because the exercises can help your loved one maintain a healthy weight, reduce joint pain, lower stress levels, increase circulation, and gain more energy.

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Amarillo, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

4. Manage Medications

Taking prescriptions properly and on time can help seniors treat heart failure and avoid devastating effects. Monitor your loved one’s medication routine, ensuring he or she takes medicine correctly and never misses a dose. Proper medication usage also includes ordering refills on time to prevent your parent from running out of medicine.

5. Watch Fluid Intake

Too much water on the heart can lead to devastating results, which is why you need to monitor your loved one’s fluid intake each day. Fluids aren’t only in beverages. Many foods also contain large amounts of liquid, so you may need to limit those items as well. This includes soup, some fruits, ice cream, and more. Use marked drink pitchers, labeling them with how much water or other healthy liquids the doctor recommends, and never let your loved one consume more than those amounts.

6. Discourage Smoking

Smoking makes it even more difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body, which is why your loved one needs to quit immediately. By not smoking, your parent can increase his or her circulation and energy levels. You can motivate your loved one to stop smoking by explaining the benefits, keeping healthy snacks accessible, and creating fun activities that take his or her focus off cigarettes and other tobacco products. 

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior home care. Amarillo 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. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (806) 803-9991.