Heart failure is an ongoing condition. But you can help control it through medicines, diet and therapy. Emory Advanced Heart Failure Therapy Center can help you manage heart failure symptoms so you can live a more active life.
Be an Active Partner in Your Heart Failure Care Plan
Follow your heart failure treatment plan every day. Watch yourself for worsening symptoms or sudden changes in weight. Know what to do if symptoms worsen. Above all, work with your Emory care team to keep your heart failure under control.
Follow These Heart Failure Self-Care Strategies
There are a number of ways you can take great care of yourself — all of which can help manage your heart failure symptoms.
Keep Up with Health RecordsTracking key information:
- Helps you know what improves or worsens your symptoms
- Gives your doctor insight on how well treatment is going
- Helps you get the right care in an emergency
Here’s what to do:
- Check your weight every morning. Tell your care team if your weight suddenly increases by 2 or 3 pounds in a day or two, or if it jumps 5 pounds in a week. Keep track of what you were doing during that timeframe and how you tried to manage it.
- Keep a chart or calendar of your heart rate and blood pressure. Bring it to each office visit.
- Keep a list of your medicines with you at all times. Your wallet or purse is a good place for it as people will likely check them you have an emergency. This list is important for emergency personnel and will give valuable clues on your condition.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Choose a power of attorney for healthcare and make your family aware of your advance directives (living will). These documents tell your family what type of medical care you want if you can no longer express your wishes. If you don’t have an advance directive, you can get forms to create one at your doctor’s office.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
- Take your medicines as prescribed.
- Follow your diet recommendations, including heart-healthy, low-salt foods and fluid restrictions.
- Quit smoking.
- Limit or avoid alcohol.
- Follow your recommended activity and exercise instructions.
- Make regular follow-up appointments.
Perhaps, most importantly, enjoy life and stay involved with friends and family. Heart failure doesn’t mean you should stop living. Just slow down, learn your limits and listen to your body.