Symptoms, Statistics, and Causes
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can lead to fluid buildup in the lungs, legs, and other organs, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling.
According to the American Heart Association, CHF affects approximately 6.2 million Americans with the majority of cases occurring in people aged 60 and older. CHF is the leading reason for hospitalization among people aged 65 and older in the United States.
The leading causes of CHF include coronary artery disease (CAD), high blood pressure, and poorly controlled diabetes. Other factors that increase the risk of CHF include smoking, obesity, and a family history of heart disease. Comorbidities, such as kidney disease and sleep apnea, can also contribute to the development of CHF.
Live-in Care Strategies
For a live-in or homecare setting, a three-pronged approach to caring for individuals affected by CHF is recommended. This approach involves coordinated and consistent care between certified nursing assistant (CNA) caregivers, skilled nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists.By working together in lockstep, these three types of healthcare workers provide consistent and coordinated care for individuals with CHF. This is critical to:
- Improve post CHF recovery,
- Prevent future hospitalizations, and
- Improve quality of life for those living with the condition.
Certified Nursing Assistant
CNAs play an important role in the care journey for someone living with CHF. They are responsible for providing personal care and assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. In addition, they monitor vital signs (e.g. BP, heart rate, blood sugar levels) and report changes to the skilled nursing staff.
Skilled nurses, (typically registered nurses) are responsible to oversee the overall care of individuals with CHF. This includes administering medications, monitoring symptoms, and coordinating with other healthcare providers, such as physicians and therapists.
Physical, occupational, and speech therapists play a critical role in CHF. Physical therapists help improve mobility and strength, while occupational therapists assist with improve ability to do activities of daily living to improve safety and independence. Speech therapists help with improving swallowing and addressing communication difficulties, both of which are typical in people with CHF.
Benefits of Cohesive Care
Successful care strategies for individuals with CHF require coordination, high quality, and uniformity across all providers. This is achieved through regular communication between healthcare providers, standardization of care protocols, a common view into day to day care and clinical indicators on a common electronic patient record, ongoing education and training for all staff members.
Care and Treatment Summary
In conclusion, congestive heart failure is a chronic condition that affects millions of Americans, particularly those aged 60 and older. Proper care and treatment, including a three-pronged approach involving CNAs, skilled nursing staff, and therapists, helps manage the condition and improve quality of life for those living with CHF. To ensure the best outcomes for individuals with CHF, it’s essential that all healthcare providers involved in their care work together in a coordinated and standardized manner.
Contact Us For Your Live-in Care Needs in Plano, TX
Navigating life with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a reality for many seniors in the greater Dallas/ Fort Worth, and Plano areas. The specific and specialized care required by these individuals and their families requires experienced and trained professionals.
With over 16 years of experience providing live-in and in-home care to families across Dallas and Fort Worth, Care Mountain is well-versed in understanding the nuances and specifics of every family needing caregivers to support their loved ones.
Questions? We’re here to help. Please contact our care staff anytime at [email protected], or by phone at (972-379-8891).