Care for Congestive Heart Failure

A trained Amada caregiver can help your loved one manage the symptoms of CHF and let you know when or if it's time to call the doctor.

It’s important to know that the home care agency you’re working with has an action plan in place to recognize one of the leading causes of death among seniors—congestive heart failure. Amada caregivers specifically look for the classic signs of congestive heart failure like weakness, shortness of breath, coughing, sudden weight gain, swelling feet and ankles, and changes in the frequency of urination. Because of their training to recognize these symptoms when present, Amada caregivers can help you or your loved one know when or if it’s time to call a health care provider—which can significantly improve long-term care outcomes.

We are here to help with symptom management, too. Lifestyle changes may help improve the side effects of congestive heart failure and your Amada caregiver can help with that. Our caring team can help senior clients ensure that the treatment plan prescribed by their cardiologist is being followed. We can also help seniors stay active or let them know when it is time to put their feet up for a rest.

What is congestive heart failure?

The American Heart Association describes congestive heart failure as “a type of heart failure which requires seeking timely medical attention.” Signs of this type of heart failure include swelling or edema. This commonly occurs in the legs and ankles, but it can happen in other parts of the body, too. Fluid can collect in the lungs and interfere with breathing, which in turn causes shortness of breath and in some cases respiratory distress.

Amada caregivers are trained to offer in-home care services for heart failure patients. In addition to assisting with activities of daily living (ADLs) and ensuring a good quality of life, our care team can identify the signs of side effects or symptoms of heart failure. They can alert family members and help clients get medical care.

CHF symptoms that Amada caregivers are trained to watch for:

  • Sudden or steady weight gain (for example, 2-3 pounds in 24 hours or 5 pounds in more than 1 week) that points to fluid retention.
  • Significant swelling in the senior’s feet or ankles—another indicator that the body is retaining fluid.
  • Changes in the frequency of urination during the day or night, which could mean that the senior’s kidneys are struggling to remove excess fluid from the body.
  • Weakness or extreme fatigue that suggest the heart isn’t pumping effectively and not enough blood is getting to the senior’s body to meet energy demands.
  • Frequent shortness of breath or coughing (even when the senior is lying down) which points to a buildup of fluid in the lungs.