Recovery Strategies for Seniors with CHF

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Congestive Heart FailureIf you have recently been diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF), you will have to make some lifestyle changes to stay healthy and out of the hospital. It’s important that you pay close attention to your body and understand the symptoms that show your heart failure is getting worse.

Take control of your condition as you transition from the hospital to your home with the following lifestyle changes:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Weigh yourself daily.
  • Limit the salt in your diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit fats and cholesterol.
  • Limit alcohol and fluids.
  • Stay active.


When to Seek Medical Attention

  • Shortness of breath that seems to be getting worse or causes difficulty sleeping.
  • Sleep is better in a semi-upright position in a chair or recliner than flat in bed.
  • Unusual fatigue that is not relieved with rest.
  • A dry cough that will not go away or seems otherwise unusual.
  • Swelling in the ankles, feet, or legs that does not go away.

Note: If any of the above symptoms are severe or of sudden onset, seek immediate emergency care.

When to Get Help Immediately

  • Severe, unrelieved chest pain.
  • Swelling in the legs that becomes painful, even in one leg.
  • Fainting or near-fainting.


Other Disease Management Tips:

  • Don’t miss your follow-up appointments.
  • Take your medications as directed by your health care provider.
  • Manage stress.
  • Tell your health care provider if you are experiencing symptoms of depression (e.g., depressed mood most of day, lack of interest in normal activities and relationships).